Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In the Year 2010


No shopping chatter for today....just wanted to take a tiny moment to say that I hope that everyone had a wonderful Chaunukah / Christmas season. Ours was mellow, but enjoyable nonetheless. I was a complete loser this year & did not ever find the time to take a cute holiday photo of my precious pups which has been my "thing" ever since I have owned doggies. A few friends expressed some disappointment if I did not send a traditional doggie holiday card, so I cheated....mind you, I don't have Photoshop, nor would I even know how to use it if I did. I had to use the "Paint" feature in Windows to alter an already existing & terribly cute photo of my pups for the 2009 holiday card this year. The photo pictured here is not the one used in the card, but an equally cute but similarly cheater-style painted pic regardless. I also failed to print enough of the cheesy pictures, thus, seriously having to limit who I sent them out to....and, ran out of stamps last minute and even failed to put stamps on a half-dozen or so that were returned to me in untimely fashion by the Post Office. My bad! If you received one of our cheesy cards, consider yourself one of the lucky ones!! *wink* I was truly batting a thousand with my holiday cards this year.....

As for the coming year, I want to wish everyone the very best in 2010. I know that personally, 2009 had some good days and some unpleasant moments to say the least (then again, every year does, really)....overall, I guess I cannot complain in that so many people have it worse than I do, even if there are days where it feels like my world is coming to an end. I still have my health! I have a wonderful husband! I have a beautiful home! I have some great friends and while I don't like the fact I have to work, at least I DO have a J-O-B. May everyone have a safe, prosperous & Happy New Year because no matter how cliche that sounds, it could not be more true of my wishes to everyone. I hope that 2010 brings us all good health, good fortune, and good times!

And, of course, on a much more superficial level....may 2010 bring lots of nice things to YOUR closet, as well as to mine! HAPPY SHOPPING! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The $19 Diva

No, that's not my new nickname.....it's the price I just paid for a pair of (shockingly) well-fitting, cute jeans from Old Navy called "the Diva". It's a skinny jean that's actually rather flattering -- it's not so skinny where you cannot get your feet out the bottoms or where you have some serious fabric twisting to contend with as you "wriggle" into them. They just fit well without any of the ill side effects. They are on sale again this week for $19 (regularly $26.50, or $29.50, I cannot recall). Check them out! I highly recommend them -- and coming from a gal that normally prefers premium denim, this is quite the compliment to Old Navy.

Happy Shopping!

p.s. - they are also very slimming for skinny jeans, something I find to not normally be the case with this style.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

When the Chips are Down....


Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker website

OK, I never post about food, I'm sure of it. I love to eat, but for those that know me, you know I am a super picky eater who finds something she likes & eats it over & over & over again rather than risk trying something new that does not suit my taste. I'm completely BORING when it comes to food, unlike many of my foodie friends. I would likely die of starvation if I was in another country (other than Mexico) because I would be afraid to eat. BUT, in all my pickiness, I am a HUGE fan of bread. I don't think I have met a bread I did not like. Well, that's not entirely true -- I once tried Ezekiel bread & it was horrible! My granny used to think I'd make a good prisoner since I could EASILY survive on bread & water alone!!! Of course, bread is not the best thing for us.... as I age & weight tends to stick to my bones more easily, those "bad carbs" just are not my friend. *sigh* That being said, we have tried to cut back on our intake of the evil gluten we often hear about. Mike is now a believer that the stuff bloats you, makes you crave more of it & hence, you can pack on pounds with little effort -- I tried telling him for years that bread is worse than eating a piece of cheese, despite the fat content. We are trying to not eat gluten much, if at all anymore. We still get burgers & chili dogs on occasion, but NO bun. No more sandwiches unless they are wrapped in lettuce versus bread, etc.

In our quest for yummy things that are gluten-free, I was surprised at how much good stuff is out there, sans gluten. I am NOT a cook so I really am clueless about all this, but I stumbled upon gluten-free baked goods and pre-packaged cake & cookie mixes that also gluten-free. Could they be any good??? Low & behold, they can be! I purchased the Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix, gluten-free, of course. You just have to add butter, vanilla & an egg. The batter is rather dry & crumbly looking, but the cookies tasted pretty darn good once you get past the weird appearance of the raw dough -- we polished them off rather quickly. I'm impressed. Mike was impressed. Who knew? I bought the brownie mix, as well, but have not had time to bake that up just yet. Stay tuned!

It's difficult to find these Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes in your average grocery store. I found mine in Gelson's, but have also seen them at Howe's Market. I'm sure they are cheaper at Howe's. I paid $4.99 per box at Gelson's which is a bit steep, but in the end, the yummy cookies made it worthwhile!

Whole Foods has lots of gluten-free items & baked goods, as well. I sampled some chocolate cake, which was more like pie than cake....not sure what was in it, possibly apple sauce???...but it was good, as were their gluten-free peanut butter cookies.

So, if you are in the market to flatten your tummy a little, I suggest cutting down on your gluten intake.... and these gluten-free baked goods are much yummier than one might expect for when that pesky sweet tooth gets the best of you!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Won't you come on down to my RESCUE?"

Okay...I might have stolen a line from an old Echo & the Bunnymen tune, but I felt it was applicable here. *wink*


These are my precious pups, captured on my new LUMIX digital camera (which is a fun little camera -- that hopefully I can learn how to use someday)....pure luck with this photo, I swear! Frankie & Mitzi-Mae were just in a "chillin" kind of mood this day. Chillin' is not something I often catch these 2 rascals doing. They are an endless supply of energy when together! They were alternating between playing ball in the yard & sunning themselves on the (covered) outdoor sofa. I was home sick with a bad cold -- went outside to soak up some sun myself as I sipped some hot green tea, hoping for relief.....and, thankfully, had the camera nearby so I could snap a few photos of my precious angels. This is just one of the many cute ones I scored last week. *sigh* They melt my heart!

Frankie will have been with us a full 3 years as of tomorrow. Happy anniversary my precious boy!!! He was by FAR the best dog we have ever adopted & to this day, I cannot get over how truly lucky we are that he found us. You can never be unhappy when you see Frankie's sweet face. He is lovable, smart beyond words, and just plain fun to be around. His intelligence never ceases to amaze me or Mike. I still can't believe that someone let this little guy get away....what fools you were, whoever you are! (refer to my post 12/22/08 to read more about Frankie "the precious").

Mitzi-Mae was just adopted in early October, for those that did not already know. She comes to us with a LOT of issues and we are working hard to make her see we are good people & that she can trust us to take very good care of her. My friend Erika says she wants to be reincarnated as our dog in her next life because she thinks we give our dogs such "royal treatment". Mitzi is extremely sweet & loving...and once she gets over her numerous insecurities, I think we have another smart hound on our hands. She was clearly mistreated by her original owners & spent nearly a full year in a rescue getting healthy before we took her home. At times, her care is challenging, but we are determined to convince her she's in a good, safe place now. She is quickly winning over our hearts. (for more on Mitzi-Mae, see the October '09 post "the right kind of ugly".)

Frankie & Mitzi play together endlessly and it's so stinkin' cute to watch. We love these little guys! To us, they are not just dogs, they are our family....and a darn cute little family we make! Someday, I will have to upload footage of them in action.

To all the other dog lovers in the world....please RESCUE whenever possible! There are SO many wonderful dogs out there that need homes. I have never "bought" a dog & I never will. I may love my designer handbags or shoes, but I have no tolerance for "designer dogs" and wish more people would rescue dogs from shelters or other organizations. My RESCUED dogs have all had immense intelligence & a ton of love to share, once they come to know and trust you. It's so incredibly rewarding. My only regret is my lack of winning Lottery numbers which would enable us to be able to stay home more & pal around with these 2 wonderful creatures, Frankie & Mitzi-Mae. We love them so much. They bring us great joy and I just wanted to share these recent photos with anyone that may be reading.....ENJOY!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Doggie Duds


Just a quick note here: If you have small dogs like I have, you know the need for cozy, cute dog sweaters as the Winter weather rolls on into town. These darn doggie duds can start at $15 for the tiniest item & go up from there -- it's crazy!

New find: WAL-MART
I must say, for a nationwide discount retailer, they have a pretty amazing pet department. Of course, they don't carry my dog's fancy kibble there, but when it comes to bedding, dining accessories, carriers, crates, doggie diapers (yes, we need those for our little Mitzi until she learns to hold it better), and doggie duds, Wal-Mart really cannot be beat!

I have purchased several of the cutest dog sweaters there in recent weeks for only $5 each. Yep, you heard me....just $5! We're talking nice quality sweaters on the cheap. The sizing may be erratic but if you know your dog, you can quickly look at one & figure out what will fit & what won't, despite the size information on the label not being terribly accurate. Frankie & Mitzi now have matching grey & black "skull & crossbones" turtlenecks. Frankie got a new red holiday sweater. Mitzi scored a pink & white polka dot with patent leather bow applique on the backside. I even picked a couple of larger sized sweaters up for Marla for her Lola dog. I hope they fit! Pictures of Frankie to follow once my precious little hound is ready to model for you. It's not quite cold enough yet. *wink* Mitzi was willing, doggie-diaper & all.....

And, one more thing I need to add.....I bought a dog "crate" that is soft & collapses, as needed, for easier storage. I viewed several of these on Overstock.com & they started at around $70.....at Wal-Mart, I picked one up for under $17!! It's beige & black, so it should match my car, as well as the interior of my home, but they had other colors. It holds up to 50 pounds of dog, so that means I can fit both my babies inside. Not sure if I "needed" it, but I could not pass it up at that price!

Now, find your local Wal-Mart and pick up some cute clothes for YOUR beloved pets before it's too late!! Yes, they have some holiday duds for cats, too....but I suspect the felines don't like that sort of thing much.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Booty-Camp

It really works! After just 3 weeks in "booty camp" with the amazingly fit Dianna Farr at the helm, I lost at least 6 pounds and 3.1% body fat. Wooo-hooo!! All that laziness and dining on really, really bad "fast food" during summer caused me to gain a few unwanted LBS. that I desperately needed to shed. My jeans were too tight & I was not comfortable with my body anymore. Sure, I was still "thin" by most people's definition of the word, but I was flabby & certainly more pudge-y that I preferred. I refused to buy bigger pants & sitting behind a desk all day with the fly part-way down was just no longer an option, while my mini-muffin top grew and my legs looks like stuffed sausages. (for real....I swear!)

SHUT UP SUE, yes, I hear you.....I full-well realize I don't have a lot to complain about. Most people would kill to weigh my WORST weight, but I prefer to not be there myself, that's all. It's tough for women to stay trim, particularly as we age (or as some of us have babies --not me, so don't anyone read into this!). I just don't wanna be uncomfy in my own skin anymore, literally. It was time to do something about it. I FINALLY signed up for Boot Camp in Burbank with one of my gym instructors, Dianna Farr.

Dianna is amazing...she has the perfect figure & an endless supply of energy. I swear, the woman never sleeps! She works, she trains, she takes fitness & martial arts classes herself, teaches fitness classes at the local gym, owns part of a Baskin Robbins franchise (of all things), and so much more. I have admired her for a long time & finally decided to take the plunge & enroll in her boot-camp classes, taught outdoors in Wildwoon Canyon (the hilly park near the Castaway). As much as I loathe working out, I loathe ill-fitting clothing more, so I had to do something. Boot Camp is the answer! I decided working out in these group settings OUTSIDE in the almost fresh LA air is just the ticket for me & my lazy behind!! No clock to watch, no stuffy/smelly/sweaty gym, no mirrors reflecting images back at me while I work it. Just the great outdoors, amazing views of the City of Burbank, and the occasional weather condition, be it wind or rain or extreme heat. I was terrified my first session -- I know how tough Dianna can be -- she keeps all her moves basic, but everything is done at high speed for maximum cardio benefit. The fat can't help but melt off of you!

That first session saw me running part way up & down the evil hill to the Castaway Restaurant REPEATEDLY....I seriously thought my lungs would explode....I even got nauseated towards the end & was actually looking forward to crunches just so I could lay down on my yoga mat in the grass!!! Dianna is great about watching over you, making sure you don't die out there. She wants you to work it, to push yourself, but be safe about it all.

The boot camp sessions are 3 weeks for $65 and you can go as often as you like for that fee. There are tons of girls of all ages, but I suspect I am one of the oldest. There is a family (mom, dad & tween), there are couples, and gals who have recently given birth....everyone is at a different level of fitness, but we all make the best of it & Dianna will keep at you to keep it movin'! I highly recommend it. Here is the link to her site:

http://www.starpointfitness.com/Classes.html

*note: You can also find Dianna Farr on Facebook.*

If you refer a friend, you get $10 off, so that's also nice. Last weekend, Dianna added a trail run / hike on Saturday morning up in the canyon. For those that have never hiked Wildwood, it's a short set of trails, but you don't ease into them at all....it's immediately straight up steep! We got to the top, took in the views & then it was time to jog down the entire trail & subsequent fire road. It was fun, I have to admit. I have hiked up there many times with my Mikey or my dogs or both, but never once did I jog any part of it. I am still a bit sore, more than 48 hours later, but it's all worth it now that my jeans fit again. Yay! I cannot recommend it enough. Check it out! I will be back up at Wildwood tonight to partake in yet another 'round of Booty Camp!

The best part: shopping for new work-out gear now that I am inspired, finally.

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

PUREOLOGY: Less than Pure


*photo credit: Amazon.com

I'm so sad....my long-time fave line of hair products, PUREOLOGY, was purchased sometime in late 2007 by the big conglomerate, L'Oreal.....I did not learn of this acquisition myself until just last week. I only did a random Google search because my last purchase of Pureology Hydrate (shampoo & conditioner) just seemed different. I chalked it up to maybe my hair was just going through a phase....but it really did not feel the same.

Normally, any of the Pureology shampoos create lather beyond words! The stuff has NO added water, hence, it's a concentrate of sorts. You use VERY little & it goes a LONG way. My hair was never known for is ability to lather well, but this stuff was like a hair miracle. My hair never felt cleaner or healthier & I was sold. It's not cheap, either, but it was worth it!! The Hydrate shampoo averages around $28 a bottle, which may seem steep, but as a concentrate, you use so little that the bottle lasts far longer than anything else you might purchase. In the long run, it's really not that expensive. I would sing its praises anytime someone complained of bad hair days -- "GO, buy Pureology and if you dislike it, I will buy it off of you so you have nothing to lose!!!" And, you know what? NO ONE ever asked me to buy it off of them. Why? Because they were sold, too! It worked wonders!!!

Pureology is known for zero sulfates, no alcohol & no added water, amongst other things. It's not tested on animals & it was 100% vegan....whatever that means in the world of shampoo. *wink* It was full of yummy botanicals & my hair was Heavenly on any given day after using it. If I really wanted a treat, I would splurge on the Nanoworks line...average price of this shampoo or conditioner would set you back just over $40 a bottle, but the results were even better than the Hydrate, if one could even imagine such a thing! I love it!!!

Fast forward to my June purchase of Pureology Nano & Hydrate products that "felt different"....my sister, Marla, mentioned she was no longer using it & complained about the fact it had alcohol in it when some new product she discovered & liked did not. I was floored. ALCOHOL in my Pureology??? What was she talking about? I ran home & read the labels on my bottles, old & new (some of my old bottles were in the recycle bin still)....sure enough, the newer bottles not only had water added (now the 1st ingredient on the label), but 2 kinds of alcohol in it!! I was horrified....I am paying top dollar for something that is supposed to be so pure & wonderful & it's just not. No wonder my hair felt different; no wonder the product did not lather like it used to; no wonder it looked or smelled a tad different...it WAS different!!! I jumped on Google & read tons & tons of messages & blogs about the fact that the recipe was cheapened & watered down....my wonderful botanical ingredients were gone & in their place was plain old water & a bunch of color-fading alcohol! I am paying top dollar for crap equivalent to any drugstore shampoo now. Not cool. The whole point of Pureology is that it's color-protective & once you add alcohol, that all goes out the window, friends.

I e-mailed my hairdresser, Marla & my friend Stacie, who are all in the know about Pureology products. My hairdresser, Deborah, is livid & has written the company...not to mention she wants her money back on the stockpile of product she is selling in her salon. Stacie was like me & just wanted to cry. Marla had already given up on Pureology & switched to another alcohol-free product. *sigh* Deborah & I have been "joking" about creating a product line that IS pure & sulfate/alcohol free.....made me wonder....what is entailed in such a venture? Can this innocent joking turn out to be something more real??? I failed chemistry, so making hair product is way out of my skill level, but you never know. I'm always searching for that light bulb to go on over my head for an idea for a business so I can quit "working for the man". I think I need to seriously chat Deb up about this.

All dreams aside, it's a sad, sad day now that my Pureology is no longer pure. I have come to the conclusion that I need to shop around for older product in hopes it's still the original recipe. That might mean buying from less "reputable" sources like E-bay or local discount stores where the stuff often pops up on shelves. So, I jump on E-bay and search around. I find I am now asking sellers to e-mail me the first 3 ingredients listed so then I will know what I am getting. If water & alcohol come up first in lieu of the organic botanicals, don't buy it! My confession in all this: I had placed a bid on E-bay BEFORE realizing things had changed....did not expect to win, never uppped my bid, but of course, I won. It was a 3 item deal of the Nano line (shampoo, conditioner & a deep conditioning repair mask). The mask alone sells for like $65. I got all 3 for $47. The package just arrived this week....I anxiously ripped open the box & to my delight, they were OLD recipe versions. I scored so big time!!!! Now, I just have to keep finding the old product or find a new brand. Who knew a less "reputable" source, like E-bay (as some consider the risk of counterfeit items) would be MORE reputable in getting what I really want versus buying from a trusted salon or supply house?? I love my OLD Pureology. L'Oreal can suck it. L'Oreal: You have turned a fantastic product into garden variety crap out of pure greed. You are still marketing Pureology as pure & it's not!! This stuff should be selling for under $8 a bottle now, not in excess of $25. If anyone affiliated w/ L'Oreal ever should stumble upon this (yeah, right!): "F YOU". You ruined the ONLY hair product line that some of us ever loved.

I urge everyone that ever loved the REAL Pureology to shop around & try to purchase old product. Read those microscopic labels (and you only need to read the first 3 ingredients on the list). I urge you to write letters & blog about your dissatisfaction. L'Oreal has pulled the wool over our eyes & we have to help lift that wool & see the truth -- they are greedy liars. There is nothing pure about Pureology anymore & it saddens me to say such words. If you find the old product, let me know....I'd be interested in forking out some of my hard-earned $$ for it. If you see water listed as the #1 ingredient, don't even waste your time reading the rest of the label. It's no good. Your organic botanicals like various types of mushrooms, peppermint & herbs won't be in the product anymore. You won't get the killer lather. Your hair probably won't feel as amazing & you certainly won't have as much color protection if the bottles are now chocked full of alcohol. (insert heavy SIGH here).

Happy Shopping....I hope you find something pure in your search. I, for one, won't buy it anymore unless I can find the original recipe.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where the Wild Things REALLY Are....

Just a quick head's up: Now through 10/31/09 all kids (11 years of age and under) get in FREE to The San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal park! Visit: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/

Time is running out....grab the kiddies & have some fun! Oh, and while you are there, pick me up a little something pretty at the gift shop.

Let the wild rumpus begin!!!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The New Ride

After 10 years of pleasure driving around in my dream car, the 1999 Volvo S70, it was time to consider a new ride....after all, slapping on over 110k in miles is nothing to sneeze at. My Volvo served me well. It's still a beautiful car, but I now have a new love....the 2009 Ford EDGE (stock photo pictured here). It has so many gadgets, it talks, has heated seats so my fanny shall never again be cold on a chilling Winter morning drive, and so much more! I got a new color called Cinnamon Brown Metallic (as seen in the photo). It's much darker in person, I think -- at times, almost appears eggplant in color, which was probably part of the draw for me.

I wish to bid a fond farewell to my Volvo....she has been good to us. I will miss her in some ways, but technology has surpassed her & it's time to have a jack for my i-Pod, a USB port and some Sirius satellite radio (6 months free anyhow). We are trying to find a buyer & hopefully, they will enjoy her as much as we did.

As for the new EDGE gracing our driveway....she's fun to drive, SO incredibly smooth, and probably more of a gas hog than what I am used to in that it's a V6 engine. The first time I drove one, I barely touched the gas & it was off & running in a quick jerk, which caught me by surprise. We shopped for about 4 weeks & nearly got one in dark grey at Galpin Ford, but things did not pan out (translation: salesmen changing numbers on you last-minute, not cool). We walked away empty-handed after 3 long hours. Last weekend, we went back to Star Ford in Glendale to see Sasha, a very low-key car salesman we met on week #1 of our search. We brought him an ad from a local dealer & he said he would beat it....and he did! I got more gadgets than I even wanted by taking a 2009 model versus a 2010 & for less money. We purchased the extended warranty & the maintenance plan for a few bucks more, so we should have no worries for 6 years or 75k miles. If you need a Ford, go see Sasha @ Star Ford in Glendale!!

Car shopping sucks.....Sasha made it happen & without ANY stress or annoyances. He did not back pedal. He was up front, gave us a price on demand & they all stuck by it in the end! It took far less time than the wasted hours elsewhere....and in the end, we could not be more satisfied. LOVING the new ride!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Right Kind of Ugly



As a teen going through my "Goth" phase, I would often shop for things my mother would say were UGLY....black clothing, clunky boots, you name it! My response was always something like: Yes, it's ugly...but it's the right kind of ugly -- my mother would laugh & either she or my grandmother would indulge my purchase.

My "right kind of ugly" words have come rushing back to my mind lately as we adopted another dog from a rescue group. We have named her MITZI (formerly: "Kitty") and she is 8 pounds of some funky cuteness all wrapped up in an ugly shell that is precisely "the right kind of ugly". Mitzi was surrendered by her owner in January of 2009 to a County animal shelter in Downey, CA. I was told she had a terrible case of mange and kennel cough, the poor thing. A wonderful group called Sparky & the Gang (based out of Long Beach, CA) rescued her & nursed her back to health in hopes of finding her a suitable home. 10 months later, poor little Mitzi was still with the rescue as no one seemed to want her. Sure, she's not the stereotypical pretty dog, nor is she a young puppy, but she still has a loving heart that deserves a second chance at a nice life.....in walk a pair of suckers for a pretty face, me & Mike (with Frankie in tow)!

We were at a local Oktoberfest event in Montrose on 10/3/09....had some lunch after a nice day of walking around with Frankie (he is simply the envy of anyone that sees his cute face). He was exhausted from all of the attention & so were we. We headed back to the car only now, there was a dog adoption thing going on -- "Uh-oh", I said to Mike as we walked closer. I'm a sucker -- I want to take all dogs home with me when I see them!!! There must have been 20 dogs and puppies here at this event. The "leader", Sherri, was an adorable blonde from Michigan (my home state) and one of her side-kicks, named Mitzi, was just one of the "funnest" people we have ever met (excuse the poor grammar). At any rate, we were looking in the playpen of tiny dogs & "Kitty" was so scruffy & barking as if to say "look at me!!" -- we were looking at her, though & the human Mitzi quickly pulled Kitty from the pack to come out & play with us. (I'm sure they were desperate to get her adopted out). We were filling out paperwork before you knew it, Mike was holding the little scared dog and Frankie was eagerly wanting to play more with her. Mitzi (the human) rode home with us & the little dog to inspect our yard, all the while we joked & had some fun....we gave her a cold beer & a margie while the doggies ran & played in the yard. SOLD. We have a new dog!

I had to take Mitzi back to the fair, so Mike remained home to dog sit the new dog & the old one. We finalized some paperwork & made arrangements to pay the $300 donation/adoption fee to Sherri & her group via mail since I did not have a checkbook on me at the time. Mitzi was SO great, fun & helpful, we ended up naming the new pooch after her -- hopefully, she realizes it's an honor! *wink*

The first 2 nights were rough, no pun intended....the dogs did not sleep well & consequently, neither did we. By night #3, things had improved greatly. PHEW!!! We have had some potty accidents & poor little Mitzi (the K9) had to be spayed last Friday, but I assure you, she is recovering famously! We officially have a nice pair....like Lady & The Tramp, only Frankie looks more like Lady & Mitzi would certainly fall into tramp category. ha ha!

Everyone asks what breed Mitzi is....not really sure, but we suspect terrier mixed with Chihuahua. She has wiry hair, the little bit of it she has. She has a beard & her scraggly hairs atop her tiny head easily take on the shape of a mohawk any given day. She & Frankie became fast friends, although, I think he'd prefer she stay out of his bed when it's time to sleep. Ha ha ha!!! We are tired & overwhelmed at times, but overall, we know we did a good thing taking this little mutt into our home. She's the right kind of ugly for sure with a heart of absolute gold. I hope things continue to improve & she realizes she is in a good place.

To give this a tie to shopping: Home Goods supplied us with a new dog bed & cute doggie dishes for feeding, all at a reasonable price!

Happy Shopping!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Boots! Boots! Boots!!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE autumn just so I can bust out my fave boots to wear with jeans! I'm getting so excited about the fact that the past 2 days felt more like Winnie the Pooh's "Blustery Day" than it did summer....because it means I am just that much closer to getting to wear my boots again!

And, speaking of boots....I'm in the market for some new ones this season. My pointy-toed stilettos need to be replaced after many good years on my stinky feet! I have 2 pairs by BCBG -- they are identical, only one pair is black & the other is dark brown. They are that stretchy faux leather, very plain, very high, & very pointy (translation: you would not want a job working on your feet all day if you had to wear these puppies, but since I sit in an office, I'm good to go!). Anyhow, let's just say they have seen better days. I could take them into a shoe repair for a tune-up, but let's face it: they are Pleather. *sigh*

I landed myself in a local Marshall's store last night, expecting to find nothing. Ironically, found several pairs of cute boots. My budget could not afford them all, thankfully, due to the lack of real estate in my closet, but I did grab up 2 pairs for a steal! The dressier pair is by Etienne Aigner (spelling?), black, faux leather (again), about a 3 inch skinny heel (easier on the spine), zip up the side & a small buckle around the ankle area -- for only $39.99. Nice. The second pair is a chocolate brown suede flat boot by BORN. I have the same pair in black leather that I got last Christmas and love, love, love them! They have gummy soles & make you feel like you are walking in slippers! They zip up the side & look great with jeans or tights & a mini-skirt. These were on clearance for $90, which is a far cry from what they would normally retail for at Nordstrom. Yippee! Autumn weather, here I come!!! There were a few other nice pairs by various designers, including more from BORN, so I urge you to get in there & try some on.

Now, I know the next thing I am going to hear is from Dianna, who is going to want me to post pix.....so, if you see some attached to this message, yay me....if not, sorry! (I'm not at home at the moment to add photos, but I will try. *wink*)

Get your boot-loving self over to Marshall's if you need some new ones. I am guessing their Mega-Shoe Shop in Glendale might even have more goodies....but I am out of cash so I can't go & scope it our for you all. I emptied my wallet in Burbank last night -- but it was worth it! I'm totally "shamelessly shopportunistic" and proud of it.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Household Project Revealed -- at last!




I posted earlier in summer about the fact that we decided to re-do our den at home...a perfectly lovely room that we wanted to improve upon. We started from scratch this time by removing ALL the old stuff & completely re-painting the room. For those that had not seen the room before, picture gingerbread colored walls, dark brown trim, a huge desk, dark red arm chair, armoire for hiding computer components, lots of black framed photos on the walls, a large (and comfy) dark brown suede futon, and tons of warm & dark colors all around. It was super cozy....but honestly, the furniture was from our old house & it was much too large for that room. It was time to improve it all!

Friends would say we were crazy -- after all, the room was perfectly lovely as it was, but Mike & I just knew we could do better (or we hoped that we could). We also love to decorate and let's face it, after nearly 4 wonderful years in this home, we did all we could, ran out of projects & we end up re-doing things that don't need to be touched. At any rate, we went with a completely different look and lighter color palette. I must say, the results are far better than we anticipated & while I am no pro photographer, I am including some pix at the behest of my BFF, Dianna, so you can all see the new room. Someday, maybe I can dig up old photos so you have a good "before & after" comparison. :)

The futon was donated to a good friend who had just purchased her first home & we think it looks FAB in her place. Apparently, she's enjoying it immensely, which makes us smile to no end. Most of the other furniture pieces were sold off at a recent yard sale or donated to charity. The armoire, which Mike built, got a reprieve & managed to remain in the room since it's a wonderful piece with lots of storage space for the unsightly necessities. I miss our old red arm-chair...complete with Crayola markings on the side from our beloved God-daughter, Cailey, who saw fit to leave her mark as a toddler. *sigh* But, the new chair, affectionately named "Edith" is a wonderful new addition(think of the old All in the Family TV series & how Archie had the big comfy chair, while Edith was forced to relax in a smaller, less plush chair) -- our Edith is pretty comfy though, I must admit! (Thank you Home Goods!!!!) We still intend to find a worthy home for the former area rug, a real beauty if you happen to know any interested parties. *wink*

Anyhow, I ramble on....here are the pix! Let me know what you think.

P.S. - I did not include a shot of the new, smaller desk since there were still some electrical cord issues that were not resolved at the time of my lame photo-shoot.

Happy Shopping!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Extra 50% Off! What's not to like??

Hit up your local OLD NAVY if you need casual clothing at a huge savings! All the clearance merchandise (and there is a LOT of it) is on sale for an EXTRA 50% off! I went yesterday & scored several items for under $40 total, including steep So-Cal sales tax. I bought a pair of fold-over waist yoga pants for $3.99, tunic t-shirt dresses for about $4.50 each (got 2 of those) and much more!

I'm not sure how long this special sale lasts, so I would suggest you get there soon while the getting is good! At these prices, stuff is sure to fly off the shelves fast.

I might go back and stock up early for future holiday gifts. If you have children, it's probably a good time to get them some cute stuff at low prices, too. I was so busy with the stuff in my size range, I never made it to the kids' or mens'. Ooops! Old Navy rocks!!!

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

If you have class with a "C" and not a "K".....

For those that know me, you know I seldom hit up a museum, despite living in LA and having many wonderful ones virtually on my doorstep.....I always get in trouble at museums. I get too close to the art because I want to inspect the details & apparently, I set off silent alarms & panic security guards as I go. Not cool. My brother & I nearly got kicked out of the Getty because of such "behavior". I did not realize you could not get up close & personal....and, we were not touching anything -- what's the harm? Needless to say, I don't go to museums often. I think security is happier that way. ha ha!! I'm sorta "K"lassy when it comes to museums -- I am better off sticking to malls & home improvement stores, thanks.

Anyhow, for those of you that are Classy (& cultured), I found out that 22 So-Cal museums are doing a freebie soon....a "Free for All" if you will. Here is the skinny:

Museums Free for All
22 Los Angeles and Orange County Museums
Free Admission Days: October 3 and/or October 4, 2009

The following 22 museums — - - presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science - - — will all open their doors wide & invite visitors free of charge for general admission. Here's the list!

Participating Museums:
* Armory Center for the Arts - Both Days
* Bowers Museum - Sunday, October 4th Only
* California African American Museum - Both Days
* California Heritage Museum - Saturday, October 3rd Only
* California Science Center - Both Days
* Craft and Folk Art Museum - Both Days
* Fowler Museum at UCLA - Both Days
* The Getty Center - Both Days- Timed tickets required
* The Getty Villa**- Both Days- Timed Tickets required
* The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live - Sunday, October 4th Only
* Hammer Museum at UCLA - Sunday, October 4th Only
* Japanese American National Museum - Saturday, October 3rd Only
* The Museum of Contemporary Art,
* Los Angeles (MOCA) - Sunday, October 4th Only
* Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA) - Both Days
* Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - Sunday October 4th Only
* Norton Simon Museum - Sunday, October 4th Only
* Orance County Center for Contemporary Art - Both Days
* Orange County Museum of Art - Both Days
* The Paley Center for Media - Both Days
* Santa Monica Museum of Art - Saturday, October 3rd Only
* Skirball Cultural Center - Sunday, October 4th Only
* The Studio for Southern California History - Saturday, October 3rd Only

I'm sure all these places have great gift shops to, therefore allowing me to say have fun, but also: HAPPY SHOPPING!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Moisturizer I Love!



MD FORTE Moisture Replenish Cream is my new best friend! I have been using it now for 4-5 months and I think I FINALLY found the fountain of youth!!! And, an added perk: something that does not irritate my sometimes sensitive skin. I paid around $39 for a 2 ounce jar and it's well worth it (I see it for $35 now on Drugstore.com). I have only used maybe half of the container in my 4-5 months of ownership & I use it daily. A little goes a long way. I have noticed that the fine "tissue paper" skin of my aging neck and under-eye area have improved immensely. For that alone, it's worth it. I mean, who wants make-up "gathering" in those tiny wrinkles or looking cakey? Not I! I cannot turn back time, but if I can slow it down a little as it pertains to the effects on my skin, I'm a happy girl!

I cannot sing its praises enough, I really can't! MD FORTE rocks.....now, I intend to investigate some of their other products. I'm just SO pleased with this moisturizer!! It's free of a lot of the "icky" things most creams are chocked full of. It keeps my skin feeling & looking hydrated but without turning me into a grease-pit. My make-up stays pretty fresh looking now (all day) so that means less touch-ups. Nice. It also happens to be the dermatologist moisturizer of choice for those of us that use Retinol for the control of adult acne (which was how I discovered it, but thankfully, I am off the Retinol now).

Anyhow, do your face a favor -- toss your old moisturizer & buy a jar of MD FORTE....if you don't like it, let me know & I will buy it off of you! How's that for a money-back guarantee?? What have you got to lose? ....except for a few wrinkles, perhaps? :)

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Potpourri

Just a quick note:

All clearance merchandise at Loehmann's (with a yellow sticker) is presently an extra 40% off. You can score some great deals if you are willing to dig through the endless racks of merchandise. There were tons of cute kids' clothes, as well as "grown up" clothes on these racks, so I highly recommend it to all! (I went to the Burbank, CA location) Keep in mind, this extra 40% off can be found on more than just clothing, so check out accessories, shoes & handbags, too. There was a ton of new premium denim, but I behaved & steered clear...this time.

Old Navy is in the final moments of 40% off kids' clearance merchandise for back-to-school. I'm sure those of you with wee-ones can find something great on the cheap!

My sister, Marla, spotted some great deals on sweater dresses at Ross of all places. Good brands, too, like BCBG and Max Studio. I hope it's not too late...she visited the Burbank store on Monday & today is already Wednesday. I think I need to pop in on my way to the gym tonight! I heart sweater dresses!!

Target in Burbank is remodeling or re-arranging the interior of the store. It's quite the big mess -- or at least it was when I was there last Friday night spending some of my b-day gift cards (thanks, friends!!!). There are a lot of cute clothes & it seems as if they are trying to ramp it up a notch with added style (both in the clothing & the overall appearance of the department). There are loads of items on the clearance racks if you don't mind digging a little. I got a great Converse t-shirt dress for $6.47. It's way comfy & dare I say it, a little sexy according to my Mikey. *wink* Turning on the old man for under $7...who can beat that? At any rate, if you don't like disorder when you shop, you may want to wait a week or so until the remodel is complete at this Target location. Oh, and let's not forget the Mossimo "boyfriend" tee's! They are v-neck with a tiny pocket, super soft, super comfy & super cheap at only $8 each (but scored a few last week on sale for $6 each). I have purple, olive & white....now, I just need to find some other colors like navy blue & black!

Express has a sweepstakes going on now for a $250 prize. Become a fan of Express on Facebook & enter today! I know I did!! I'd love to have $250 to spend at my local Express store, that's for sure.

Wasteland is opening a location in Burbank soon in the "Burbank Village" (for us old folks, translation: Golden Mall). It's going to be near Noah's Bagels & across the street from Urban Outfitters. If you shop on Melrose, or if you ever have, you are probably familiar with Wasteland. It should be a fun addition to the area.

That's all for now!
HAPPY SHOPPING!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Got Tools?

This weekend only....hit your local OSH for 25% off select Craftsman power tools AND, the added perk of NO sales tax on anything you buy at their stores all weekend! If you are into home improvement projects as much as we are, then you know this is a deal not to be missed. What could be better than 25% off that compound sliding miter saw you have had your eye on, plus no sales tax? In Southern California, sales tax is pushing the 10% range, so it's like getting 35% off!

Girls, tell your men.....but, if you are like me, you use the power tools yourself, too! (No, they don't come in pink)

Happy Shopping!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Coming soon....

photos of our work in progress (aka: the den we have been re-decorating for the past 2 weeks).

I managed to convince Mike to go back to Home Goods (after a nice brunch on the patio outside BJ's Brewhouse in Glendale & a few beers in his belly -- best fried mozzarella sticks in town, BTW). We were on a mission for a pair of side tables, possibly 2 new lamps and an arm chair. Shockingly, we found it all! The side tables were way more money than we wanted to spend....but they were perfect! We needed something "open" at the bottom so as not to block our AC vent, which is near the floor in the den. The side tables are black with 2 open shelves on the lower portion & a small drawer up top, which will be nice to hide the various remote controls we all seem to accumulate! Each drawer has a brushed nickel knob. They were not cheap at $79.99 each, but they were perfect & frankly, Mike was tired of shopping for them. We found a pair of inexpensive lamps ($20 each) complete with shades that were nice & tall. They looked good on the side tables....although one of them had a crooked shade, I am hoping it can be "squished" back into shape! *wink* (My man is sick of hearing me whine about the crooked shade!)

Lastly, we stumbled upon a chair. It's armless, which is the opposite of what we intended. It's a blue-grey faux suede with espresso legs & silver nail-heads trimming the fabric. The back has a unique shape that I cannot describe & it's tufted, which I love lately! It's really comfy, considering it's armless look & shape. We have affectionately named the chair "Edith". If you are a fan of the old Archie Bunker TV show, you will get the reference...as Mike lounged on the sofa & I sat in the upright chair. :) Those of you that know me are probably puzzled by the "blue-grey" color. We painted the room a warm medium yellow. The trim is Swiss Coffee White. The floors are super dark brown. The drapes we went with are a silvery-blue-grey faux silk with a brown diamond stitched pattern (looks like they are tufted). So, the chair could not have been more perfect as luck would have it. It's far smaller than even the smallest arm chairs, so it also takes up less space, which is another added perk. The grand total for our Home Goods adventure was a tad more than we had hoped....but we could not be happier with the stuff we found!!

The area rug is off-white with a diamond "tufted" pattern woven into the yarn. I think it's actually a carpet remnant. The sleeper sofa we purchased the week earlier is a tan/mocha color faux suede, with espresso base & feet. It's far more contemporary than our usual style. It has some square-patterned tufting in the cushions. We found some faux silk silvery-blue-grey pillows to toss on board. All of the framed art & a giant mirror have black or espresso wood-tone borders. We are contemplating adding crown molding eventually.

So, the bulk of the design is done & in place. I am on my own for the fun part, which is the set-dressing of the room with accessories, as I find them. It's coming along even better than we had envisioned & once it's more "done" I will share photos, I promise! I know I keep using the word "faux" with my fabrics, but I assure you, they don't look cheap or cheesy. ha ha! And, when the drapes are drawn closed, the room illuminates in a soft, cool blue that makes you feel like you are in a cool swimming pool (oh how I wish!!!). It's wonderful and we are really pleased with the outcome, the added space & the general clean look.

If you have not shopped Home Goods for your home furnishings, I highly recommend it. Most of the stuff is reasonably priced, but know your merchandise so you don't end up getting ripped off. Anyone can put a "compare to" price on a tag, but it does not make it true. I know a lamp for $20 is a steal...try finding one at Target for that price WITH a shade! You won't. The Home Goods we frequent is in Glendale, a stone's throw from the Americana. Check it out!

And, Happy Shopping!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friends: large & small

This one goes out to one of my smaller friends & his mommy.....I just had to take a time-out & do a little something I seldom do.....I wanted to wish my dear friend Dianna's son, Daniel, a very happy 2nd birthday today!

Daniel is an amazingly cute little guy that Di & I affectionately call "my boyfriend" because even at the tender age of roughly 7 months, he was quite the flirt when we met at another friend's baby shower. He's a beautiful little boy with a mother so wonderful that I hope he is aware of how lucky he is....if not, Auntie Sue will be sure to tell him so someday! *wink*

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY B.F.!!!! Auntie can't wait to see your b-day pix and hang out with you & Mommy real soon. Big hugs to you and to Mommy, too! I love you both! XOXO Auntie Sue

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Giving in is not always Bad

In follow up to my last post...never made it to the Rose Bowl Flea Market last weekend. I could have gone. My hubby was more than willing to indulge me, but we FINALLY bought a home office desk (last Saturday), so there was really no "need" to shop Sunday when we had a room to renovate!

We ended up shopping around on Saturday for the illusive desk we needed for our PC. We wanted white & never looked at or considered anything else. We found ourselves back at a local Office Depot store staring at an antique black/dark wood desk that we previously ignored due to its color. We had been to Office Depot & places like it numerous times on this quest. We were going insane trying to find what we wanted & needed! We gave in! We ended up buying the dark colored desk w/ hutch & a new leather office chair, all for around $300 with tax. MUCH better than what we anticipated spending. (Pix to follow once the room is done.) So, while we settled on color, in the long run, it's going to work out great. Besides, all of our home furnishings are dark wood & this probably makes more sense. What a relief that we finally found something!!! Size-wise, it's a perfect fit, too.

After the Office Depot trip, we called a friend & "donated" our comfy futon to her and hauled it to her house. (She is a new home owner in the Rancho area of Glendale and, as luck would have it, was in the market for a futon for some house-guests coming in August. What a coincidence!) Having that giant (but comfy) futon gone really opened up the room & we decided we would paint the following day in light of all the new-found free space. Our back patio looks like a yard sale....everything went out there! The living room is also a bit cluttered with items formerly in our den, but in due time, it will be gone.

The room was re-painted (the walls anyhow), the new desk & chair were assembled & we crashed hard Sunday evening. Now, we just anxiously await the next weekend so we can continue on. The dark trim all needs to be painted Swiss Coffee (translation: white). That's my job. I will start tonight & I am very excited about it!!! (Yes, I am a freak -- I love to paint!). We may be adding white wainscoting in there, as well plus crown molding. Wish us luck....it's an OLD home with VERY crooked walls & ceilings! We have purchased new drapes that will hopefully go with the new color scheme. We bought a cheap rug, even if it's just temporary. We have to find a home for our former area rug (as well as another one in storage). We have to find a home for the old desk/table and possibly our gorgeous armoire we built several years ago (that one will be tough to part with & I am hoping it can relocate the outdoor living space for storage). Out with the old, in with the new!

This project will likely not be finished this weekend if all that wainscoting & molding is still part of the plan, but I am confident I can get all my trim painted white by Friday night (Mike works late). YAY!!!

Yes, I will share pix once it's all done....may take some time. Once the room is "done", we still need to shop for a sleeper sofa & either a new chair or have the old one re-upholstered. :) LOVE this stuff. I'm in hog heaven getting to paint, shop & decorate.....it's like the Triple Crown of a perfect life. ha ha!

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Really?

Why is it SO difficult to find a simple home office type of desk for the computer with a hutch deep enough for items like our printer?? We have been on a mission & totally unsuccessful. *sigh* Sure, there are far bigger problems in this world & I know I have suffered through my fair share of them, but I am really getting frustrated. Furniture stores are closing, thanks to Ikea & a poor economy -- what are those of us supposed to do that need to buy something when Ikea does not even have it? ARGH!!!

We have not given up hope yet & if all else fails, we can build it, right??? On the upside, we plan to hit the Rose Bowl Flea Market on Sunday.....maybe someone there can hook us up?

We are re-decorating our den. Why? I guess it's pure boredom & the simple desire to change things up every now & again. We will strip the room bare & re-paint all surfaces. We will need to find new homes for some gorgeous area rugs, furniture & the like. I think one set of drapes can get recycled into the laundry room window.....everything will be gone! Any buyers out there? ha ha!!!

So, hurry up, weekend & get here already!!! I am anxious to shop w/ Mike and find some fun stuff to begin the re-design of a perfectly good room.

Happy Shopping, Everyone!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just a quick, random thought.....

My mens' linen cargo pants from H&M rock! Yes, I am wearing a pair of mens' pants today.....why? Because they are cute & they are comfy. Need I say more??

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bath & Body

The big Semi-Annual sale is on now at Bath & Body Works (online and in stores). I find this is a great time to stock up on future gifts, as well as grab a few items for myself. Get on over to your local store QUICKLY because the good stuff tends to go fast! One of the great deals they generally offer during this sale is $1 bars of the yummy glycerin soap -- even if you don't bathe with them, they are nice to leave in your dresser drawers for a nice, fresh scent.

On a side note, if you like the FIT-FLOPS they sell, for a limited time, they are offering black patent leather Fit-Flops for under $35 (normally, these shoes sell for $50 or more). I don't own a pair, but the gals that do swear by their comfort!

Now, GO.....buy me something pretty!

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

All Dogs go to Heaven



Our beloved PHOOCHIE Girl.....may she continue to rest in peace on this, the 4th anniversary of her passing. We never stop thinking of you, Phoochie! We fondly tell stories of the 15 wonderful & trying years you spent with us on this Earth. We miss you, baby bear and we love you!! XOXO

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Premium Denim Sale

For those of you that enjoy nice jeans....check this event out:



2 locations this weekend only!

Santa Barbara on Friday, 5/29 and Santa Monica on Sunday, 5/31.

The Warehouse Sale

for those not familiar with it is the nation's largest denim

Sample Sale organizer. There are reportedly some major savings

of 50%-80% on over 25,000 pieces of new inventory in premium

denim (and designer apparel) for both men and women.

The names on these labels cannot be mentioned, but we are

all familiar with these designers at all the fancy boutiques and

higher-end department stores. The sale is a huge one

(so they advertise -- I have never attended personally).

In addition to the denim for your hind-quarters, there are also,

designer dresses, tops, t-shirts, skirts, pants, hoodies, sweats,

jackets/coats, hats and more …with significantly lower prices!

Here are some sample prices that I obtained from the online information:

• Jeans at $39.99 to $119.99, that normally might retail for
$150 to $450.
• Dresses at $69.99 that would normally retail for $200-$500.

Everything is supposed to be up to 50%-80% off.

ALSO: Both sale dates have an additional special:

“Buy any 4 items and get the 5th item free (lowest priced)!”

Obviously, the freebie would be on your cheapest item. *wink*

This event accepts cash & credit cards only -- no checks.

(but, who writes checks anymore anyway??)

Address and Dates:


Warehouse Sale Picture



The Warehouse Sale
Santa Barbara

Fess Parker's Double Tree Resort
Grand Ballroom
633 E. Cabrillo Bl,
Santa Barbara, CA
93103


Friday, 5/29, (12 noon - 8pm)
Free admission with RSVP
or $5 at the door


For Santa Barbara
RSVP
Click Here

Click Here for Mapquest Map

The Warehouse Sale
Santa Monica

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
1855 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401


Sunday 5/31 (11am-6pm)
Free admission with RSVP
or $5 at the door


For Santa Monica
RSVP
Click Here

Click Here for Mapquest Map

Cash / CC only, No Checks.

www.thewarehousesale.com

Monday, May 18, 2009

Memorial Day Tradition

It has become a Memorial Weekend tradition that Arte International (formerly Arte de Mexico) holds a giant 3-day sale at their Burbank warehouse location. If you are a Burbank local, you probably know all about it. If you are a furniture or decorating fanatic, you probably also know about it even if you are not a local. Their stuff is generally pretty high-end, pricey & unique. Even if you cannot afford to buy or you don't "need" anything, you may want to hit the event just to browse.....that's what we do. We never "need" anything there & yet last year, we came back home with a truck full of great finds!

Last year, we purchased some iron lamp bases (2) that we have yet to create lamps out of, but when we do....look out! (they were only like $8 each, so it's not like we broke the bank on them...yet.) We also bought a variety of wall-mount candle-holders and other decor items that we proudly display in our home. Many items are in new condition, some are slightly mangled, scratched, or in need of general TLC. Other items require creativity to bring them to life....and that is where the true fun begins! We got a giant teak pillar last year with some carved designs near the base & the top. What to do with it? Who knew at the time, but it seemed as if it would make a wonderful & tall candle holder. In the end, it did! My husband attached it to a teak base we already had & now this giant pillar would stand on it's own, with a giant candle atop it's crown. We had to torch it a tad -- literally, with a torch, to darken the wood-tone to our liking. It came out great & is a wonderful candle perch for atop the landing of our stairs where we just "needed something tall & skinny" to fill a void. : )

We bought a giant, carved pine floor-lamp, unfinished, as well. This one created some issues when it came time to work on it -- and it was no cheap purchase. The stain took "green" & looked ashy & blah. Seemed like a giant waste of money at first, but I was able to go over the stain with a more red hue to counter-balance the ashy undertones from round one. In the end, it came out lovely. Shopping for a lampshade proved to be a real challenge, but eventually, something panned out there, too. We added some Mexican iron "decorations" to the base & it is now a great addition to our living room. Phew! It was scary for a bit since we paid over $100 for it in its raw form & initially, things were not looking good. The lamp is huge & well-worth more than what we paid.

I totally got off on a tangent here, but the bottom line is that it's a GREAT sale, even if you just want to wander around & see some neat stuff, get inspired or just enjoy the shopping frenzy of people & interior decorators buying all this cool stuff. For those of you that are into photography, I think it's also a great place to take some pix of some unique items, as well. I find it very inspiring to go there each year, even though it's not often that we BUY as much as we did last year. I always want to go. We never "need" anything, but it sure is inspirational in terms of ideas for projects around my own home, even if I don't happen to have the space (or desire) to hang a giant chandelier constructed of animal antlers & wrought iron!

If you have free time this coming holiday weekend, I highly recommend it! It's free....so long as you don't purchase anything. ha ha!!! They have items as cheap as $6, though, in case you can't stand the thought of leaving empty-handed! You will find small decor items, prints, candle holders, baskets, bowls, mirrors, chairs, armoires, patio items, lamps, fabric, pillows & furniture , of course. Many items cost well into the thousands of dollars, but we can all dream on, right?

Arte International annual Memorial Weekend sale is Saturday through Monday 5/23-5/25/09. The best stuff goes early, so don't miss out!

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No such luck

*sigh* I attempted to "shop the box" today at lunch....at Express at the Northridge Mall. This was my first visit to this mall since I started working here in the Valley. My first visit to this mall since the youthful age of 22. Wow, a lot has changed in the mall in 20 years! I did not even recognize it. That aside, I was hoping to find some b-day gifts for a friend at Express since I so often have great luck when they do these sales & I actually walked out of there empty-handed! Can you believe it? What kind of self-proclaimed shop-a-holic does that??? I will tell you what kind....one that feels in this poor economy, the stores might want to work a little bit harder to earn MY hard-earned dollars! Express had TONS of merchandise on clearance, plus an extra 20% off, but overall, the items were still overpriced in my eyes -- no amazing deals at this location -- so I walked out keeping all my dollars to myself. Perhaps that is a good thing??

If you go to your local Express, I hope you have better luck. Walking out with a whole-lotta-nothing was a first for me. Of course, I used to frequent a location on Lake Avenue in Pasadena, which is long-gone, but it was by far, the best Express store ever. (Insert another *sigh* here).

On a side note, my Loehmann's e-mails indicate good stuff happening there with deals on perfume and clothing. I might have to drag myself over there instead to give away my money (such torture, I know). ha ha!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Big Bark Nugget Sale!

OK, so the OSH Hardware radio commercials the past couple of days regarding the big bark nugget sale this Saturday crack me up! Why? Not really sure.....I just found it amusing to hear the phrase "bark nugget sale". The commercial boasts of all sizes of bark nuggets, mini up to the big ones. I don't know about you all, but I commonly refer to them as "woodchips", while in reality, they are nuggets of bark. When I heard the announcer man referring to the event as a "bark nugget sale" while I was stuck in traffic, daydreaming, it just made me laugh aloud. I heard it again this morning & I still laughed aloud. Yes, I am whacky......

Anyhow.....for those of you that enjoy home improvement projects or landscaping as much as we do, then you may want to take note here. Get over to OSH, this Saturday only, because the bark nuggets are 2 bags for the price of 1. It's a great deal!! They retail for around $4 a bag & you know you need several to properly populate your garden beds. They help retain soil moisture & discourage weeds. They have a unique aroma, in case you did not notice.....and that scent supposedly helps to deter other garden varmints that may wanna rain on your parade (literally). I had to use bark nuggets a lot at my last house because the neighborhood stray cats seemed to think our land was their giant litter-box. When you have a fresh batch of bark nuggets, it's apparently far less appealing to the local felines. How great is that???

So, get on over to OSH and stock up on your bark nuggets. It's a one-day event, this Saturday only.

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shop the Box!

It's back...........the big "shop the box" sale at Express. For those of you that don't know about it, it happens a few times a year. The store will set up boxes of merchandise at reduced prices. As time goes on during the sale, the prices drop further, but in reality, the best stuff goes FAST & early! I have scored some of my best Express deals during these sales, so I highly recommend it. It's also a great time to stock up for gifts!

So, hit your local Express store & start digging in those boxes to see what sort of deals YOU can uncover! Items start at around 50% off which is not too shabby.

Don't delay....the best items really DO go quickly. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A whole new world......

So, I have been absent from here for a while & with good reason.....I started a new job! So far, it's going well, despite my slow nature of mastering a complex computer system. *wink*

I was working in a lovely (cough-cough) area of LA known as KoreaTown up until recently. It sucked! The food was awful. No place nice to dine whatsoever unless you like that smelly crap called Kim-Chi (spelling?). Worse yet, there was NOWHERE to shop! It was pure torture for someone like me who loves shopping!! My only options where the local Ralph's grocery store or a CVS drugstore. Can you imagine? At any rate, I have moved on to far greener pastures (translation: a new neighborhood chocked full of shopping & dining). I am working in Northridge, not far from the Porter Ranch area of the San Fernando Valley. I have not yet completed 2 full weeks of employment & I can already tell you there is a wealth of things to do around here in terms of shopping!

The Northridge Mall is just blocks away. There is a Target down the street about 4 blocks. Lowe's is across the street. DSW (shoes) is a few blocks away. Wal-Mart with a ton of other shops is just up the hill in Porter Ranch. I know there is more, but I have not had the time to fully explore my options. Lovin' what I see so far! I am sure once I get settled in I will have many reasons to post about shopping again. ha ha!!

The sun is shining again on Sue and her shopping habit! Stay tuned............and, of course, Happy Shopping!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Go Bananas!

Just got word that new reductions have been taken at your local BANANA REPUBLIC store for up to 40% off. The offer is valid in stores and online. If you want to get an additional score, meaning free shipping, you need to spend $150 (minimum) and enter the magic code: BRFREESHIP at checkout. The free shipping deal ends March 8, 2009.

On a side note, when I started doing this blog, I felt like I had to get all wordy & try to be creative with long posts.....but that was not what this was *supposed* to be all about. It was my friends encouraging me to just put word out there when I found deals, sales or just had some general weird shopping information to share. So, I am going to try to get on here more often even if it's just to say "HEY, get over to Banana Republic for 40% off!" -- ha ha ha!!!

HAPPY SHOPPING!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sales are Good!

This one is gonna be short & sweet......big clearance sale starting NOW at Loehmann's, where you get like an extra 60% off the reduced merchandise. If you love Loehmann's as much as I do, then perhaps I will see you at the check-out line later tonight!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Organic Change of Pace

I was killing time in a local Walgreen's recently & stumbled upon a pretty cool find, so I thought I should share........it was a sheer tinted moisturizer by Jane Cosmetics. Jane now offers a line of organic products (Jane Be Pure, I think is their organic line, but I am not referring to the mineral collection) & this one was called AGUA-Ceuticals. At any rate, it retails for a mere $6.99, which is a steal on any level, as I am sure you would agree, but certainly good for a paraben-free organic item!! It came in a couple of different shades, too --- something that many tinted moisturizers do not do. (I was a loyalist to Benefit's YOU REBEL for many years, but some find it rather orange in color, but in summer, it seems fine on tanned skin.) I am using the "medium" shade & it blends perfectly with my rather pale, winter skin, but I think it will be equally good in summer when I have a bit more color to my flesh. I tried to find this new Jane product online so I could include a link & oddly, I could not find anything. Perhaps it's just "that new"??? Hopefully, if it's something you are interested in, you can find it in your local Walgreen's or other such retailer. The You Rebel by Benefit that I mentioned earlier retails for close to $30, so you can see why I was so excited to find one in a better color, organic and cheap! :)

If you are looking for a tinted moisturizer that won't break the bank in these tough economic times, and one that is paraben-free, I highly recommend this little tube of good stuff by Jane. It goes on smooth, blends wonderfully, has no funky aromas & you don't need to feel bad about it since it has none of those nasty chemicals some of us are trying harder to avoid. I have been using it for about a week now & the best part is that it is NOT causing any break-outs, either. Yippeee!!! Check it out! I am sure places other than Walgreen's will carry it, but at least you have a place to start.

On a side note, a special thanks here to my dear friend, Stacie, for tipping me off to the potentially harmful aspects of things like parabens, because now I am trying to be more conscious of them as I shop for skin, hair & other hygiene products. Stacie is the closest thing to "living organic" that I am personally aquainted with & because of her, I am shopping with a greater awareness for products that are not so heavily laced with evil chemicals. Thank you, Stacie!!!

Happy Shopping!
Your face will thank you, as will your wallet!! *wink*

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who doesn't like Half-Off?

For those of you that are OLD NAVY fans.....there is currently a 5-day special (online only) for an EXTRA 50% OFF clearance merchandise! Hurry up, because 5 days will pass quickly! All you have to do is enter the magic word: HALFOFF during check-out & presto!!! You get all your stuff for an extra 50% off. How cool is that? Offer expires on February 2, 2009 -- don't delay!

If you have children, it's a great time to stock up on their clothing, too!

Offer is good only online.

Happy Shopping!

Coronado Orange on ETSY

I wanted to take a moment to pimp a life-long pal, Tina & congratulate her on opening her ETSY store, CORONADO ORANGE! YAY TINA!!!! (I hope to get on the ball soon myself & get something going on ETSY.)

Here's the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6728273
or, you can click on CORONADO ORANGE under my BFF list. :)
Her gorgeous models are her daughters. Tina is crafty by nature & she's now listing her wares online for anyone to purchase & enjoy as much as she enjoys creating the stuff. So far, she has listed some crochet items (cute beanies & scarves) & I am sure she will add more goodies in the near future.

I don't know about anyone else, but I can never have too many beanies or scarves & while my mother makes most of mine for me, as soon as I can think up a color combo I don't yet have, I may have to play customer on Tina's Etsy site. Take a moment & check it out. I think you will be impressed with her stuff.

Good luck, Tina!

Happy Shopping!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

OMG!! MC Hammer pants.....

I nearly forgot to do this post.....but I was in Target last Friday. I saw a rack of balloon pants that reminded me of the 80's "MC Hammer pants" phase. I nearly died!! Need I say more???
I think not.



Happy Shopping........and don't you dare go anywhere near Target to buy those MC Hammer pants, please!

Bye, bye, BABY

....BABY referring to "Baby Bush"!

Oh happy day........NO MORE "BABY BUSH" as of 12 noon Eastern Time, which is just less than 1 hour away for our time here in Cali.

YAY!!!!!

Let's hope that in time, things will get better....our soldiers will get to return home (where they belong), our retail stores will stop closing down, our banks will stop folding, our housing market will perk up, big businesses will stop getting "bailed out" & that the good ol' USA won't be viewed as a joke amongst other nations anymore. We rock! Barack rocks!

bye, bye "W"!
The "W" stands for "WE won't miss you at all!!!"

Even if you did not vote for Obama, you have to admit that "W" won't be missed......except by the comics that love to make fun of his lack of public speaking abilities. *wink*

XOXO
Sue is stepping off her soapbox now & wishing you all a happy Inaugural day!

Monday, January 5, 2009

SPENT!

Yep, never thought I would say it, but I am SPENT........literally! My husband & I had time off from work over the holidays. We shopped & ate to our heart's content --- and by the final few days off, there was nothing left for us to spend money shopping on or junk-food left to dine on. We were spent! I never thought I would run out of stuff to shop for, but alas, I have (for now, anyway). As for the junk-food......WOW, we ate a LOT! Friends that know us are a bit shocked when I tell them all that we have been dining on.

I think all the fabulous dining choices began around Thanksgiving, when my wonderful Michigan/Chicago relatives came for a visit. We were so busy planning for their arrival & having fun with them once they got here that we slacked on the gym & ate pretty much whatever we wanted (translation: Burgers, fries, Chili John's, ice cream, cookies, cakes, Mexican food, churros, margaritas, martinis, Tommy's, pizza & more). That's SO not like us -- but we did it & we enjoyed it immensely!

The food thing carried on after they returned home, sadly. With Christmas around the corner, we did not let up on the eating and we certainly did not make time for the gym! I gained 5 pounds, which for me, is a lot. My man packed on 10, so he says (he still looks good to me!). December saw us eating many of the items listed above for November, but add in some trips to the infamous Smoke House in Burbank (translation: lots of cheesy garlic bread, YUM), chocolate cake from Gordon Biersch, garlic fries, PF Chang's, hot chocolate, more ice cream, tons of cookies, more chili from Chili John's and Tommy's, Shakey's Pizza plus mojo potatoes, a trip or 2 to Taco Bell, Jack-in-the-Box & Burger King, pancakes for breakfast (only did that once), meat pies from Porto's Bakery, mozarella cheese sticks (deep fried of course), burgers, chili cheese dogs, onion rings, jalapeno poppers, and much, much more, I assure you --- I am just drawing a blank now as I drool over my keyboard while I type this list! I am just not sure if I drool because I am hungry or because I am disgusted with myself as I see this long list. ???

Now, it's the New Year.....no resolutions per say .....but we ARE cutting ourselves off from the bad dining & making more of an effort to get back on the work-out train. We went hiking a few times last week (weather was gorgeous), hit the gym twice (once for yoga & my shoulders are still a bit sore). We're slowly getting back on track. Today was day 1 of the better food part of the plan. It's HARD. I am at work & craving Doritos or cookies.......so terrible, I know. Gotta slim down the "pansa" -- which if I spelled it correctly, is Spanish for belly. ha ha!!! I don't even really WANT the Doritos.....it's just habit now that I should nibble while I work. BAD!!!

I am spent!! I did it all. I ate it all. I even licked the plate clean!! Despite my mild current cravings, there is nothing I really WANT to eat that I did not indulge in over the long holidays. Despite the fact I always want new clothes or shoes, there is nothing I cannot live without at this moment. The gift cards that line my wallet will remain still for now. Soon enough, I know I will feel differently about the shopping aspect. :) Tomorrow IS another day, after all!

Happy 2009!
Happy Shopping!!