2012 Holiday Gift Ideas for your BFF

~All wrapped up in pretty, sparkly paper and set under your tree by Chrissy~

2012 Gift Ideas for your BFF

2012 Gift Ideas for your BFF by onceuponafriendship

*I fell in love with the sweet cursive lettering on this BFF necklace by Gauge. At $80, it is by far the most expensive item on my list but your BFF’s worth it, isn’t she?

* The jewel Faceted Friendship Bracelet by Anthropologie is a throwback to those girlhood years when making and trading friendship bracelets were all the rage. The fancy, vintage looking, costume jewelry updates this friendship bracelet for your grown up BFF. At only $18 it’s perfect to wear with a t-shirt and jeans or with a cute party dress on New Years Eve!
* As all BFF’s know, rules are made to be skirted! Wether your co-conspirator (a.k.a. BFF) uses this sweet pink mug for coffee, hot cocoa or tea, she’ll feel like a million bucks sipping from this designer label, Kate Spade, mug. The best part is, it only costs $20.  Kate Spade New York ‘say The Word – Skirt The Rules’ Porcelain Mug from Nordstom’s

*These Best Friends hats are perfect for a winter shopping excursion. Who better to shop those after Christmas sales with then your BFF. Sporting these fun, whimsical hats (just $29.99 for the pair) you’ll be sure to spot each other if you get lost in a crowd.  Band of Outsiders Hats : Target

*These canvas tote bags are chic yet versatile. I can’t even begin to tell you how much use your friend will get from toting around this adorable bag!  BFF Tote Bag from cafepress.com

Happy Shopping & Happy Holidays!

~Chrissy

**FYI- I was in no way, shape or form paid to promote any of these products.  I spent my morning scouring the wonderful world of the internet for some fun ideas!!!

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My latest Obsession: The PopSugar “Must Have” Subscription Box

~Bought and Paid for by Chrissy~

I have a confession to make, I am obsessed with the PopSugar Subscription Boxes.   Every month, I get as excited as a kid in a candy store on Christmas whenever  that white box with the pink PopSugar logo on it shows up on my doorstep!  Before I go on, I should probably explain a little about what subscription boxes are.  The premise is simple, you agree to pay a set price every month for a box full of different items.  You’ll find companies that gear their boxes towards the beauty buff, or pet lovers, or parents, or the eco-conscience, etc….   I’ve tried a few different companies over the last year and without a doubt, PopSugar is, hands down, the BEST one out there for the woman wishing to spoil herself with fun and exciting things.

Every month, for $35, you get a new box, filled to the brim with top of the line, super amazing products.  The variety of items sent each month is what really sets this company apart.   You’ll find food, beauty items, home goods, fitness products, books, and fashion items all stuffed inside each and every box.  The fun part is opening your box and seeing what your $35 has gotten you this month (They state each box is actually worth $100 or more, and I have found this to be true).   I haven’t been disappointed in anything I’ve gotten yet.   If the cost is deterring you remember you can cancel anytime and with Christmas coming they also would make a really fabulous gift for someone special on your list!

This is what I got inside my October Must Have Box (I’ve estimated the actual cost of each item here too):

Dylan’s Candy Bar Gummy Bears (5 oz) – $3.00                                                                                                                            
*These look absolutely amazing.  It’s been ages since I’ve torn into a gummy bear.  They are going with me to work today!
 
Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar snack bag (1 oz) –  $1.00
*Always a treat to eat.  I am a big fan of Pirate’s Booty already.
 
Unilever Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy shampoo and conditioner (13 fl.oz. each) – $5 each
*Some people feel shampoo’s have to cost a bunch in order for them to be any good.  I don’t believe that, and will gladly give this shampoo and conditioner the old college try!   
 
Red Flower Japanese Peony Candle with Rose Petals (6 oz with 50 hours of burn time) – $38.00
*I was shocked when I found out how much this candle costs.  Yowzers!  It isn’t something I would buy for myself in a million years but it is a definite treat as it smells amazing. 
 
J.K. Rowling‘s “The Casual Vacancy” Hardbound book- $35.00
*This was on my must read list, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it in my box.  I buy most of my books with my Kindle.  It feels good to have an actual book in my hands again though!
 
Crescent Moon ExerSocks for Yoga & Pilates – $8.00
*I’d like to say these will be great for all the yoga I do, however I have a feeling these will be worn while I am lounging around my home.  They nice traction on the bottoms so I won’t have to worry about slip sliding around on my wood floors!
 
O.P.I. Pink of Hearts Nail Polish Duo – $13.00
*I have always been a fan of OPI nail polish.  The colors included are: “You Glitter Be Good to Me” and “I Think in Pink”.  ~Pink is my signature color~ (Name that movie!)  I’ll have pink, sparkling toes in the next few days! 

Added all together I estimate this box to be worth $108.00!  If you’re interested in learning more about the “Must Have’ box, or subscribing, click here: http://popsu.gr/fsc.  I can always use the referrals as in no way, shape or form did I get paid or get my box for free to write this post (If you get referrals you get discounted boxes, yippee!).  I am just a proud consumer of an amazing product which I wanted to share with you!

~Chrissy

Wait a second….is it 1994 again, because my outfit seems to think so!

~From Chrissy’s closet!

Warning:  If you don’t like all things shoes and fashion, you might not enjoy today’s post!

Last week I was shopping at DSW, otherwise known as shoe heaven, and I fell in love with a pair of super cute, gold boots.  As you can see in the above picture, I did in fact buy them and have worn them darn near every day since.  There is a distinct possibility that I will be living in them until sandal season starts again next Summer!

Days after purchasing my new boots, I thought I would share a photo of them with all the other #shoelovers out there on Instagram.  (I am insanely addicted to Instagram.)  As I snapped the pic it dawned on me, I’ve seen these shoes before.  Well, not these exact shoes but pretty similar ones.  I sported a pair of bright yellow colored Doc Marten boots throughout much of my Freshman and Sophomore years in college.  Oh my gosh, did I  adore those shoes!  It’s been almost 20 years since then but here I am, once again sporting a pair of yellow boots.

Ok…wait just a second…it’s not just the shoes, but my entire outfit seems to have been inspired from the closet of my old college dorm room.  I’ve got a flannel print top on today too.   If that doesn’t scream circa 1994 Chrissy, then I don’t know what does!!!  Scroll down for my then and now photo’s!

My college roommate, Debbie, and I circa 1994

A flannel print shirt and gold boots 2012

PS- In case you are wondering, my new shoes are from Dirty Laundry and you can hopefully find them at your local DSW.  They had them in silver and black as well!

~Chrissy

My Texting/Picture Mail Flub

So I have a funny little story to share with you all today.  I was recently told by my husband that we were going out to a  social event that was work related.  “Sweet!” , I thought.  “A date night with my husband!”  Well, my excitement had a momentery spurt when he told me it was a “ball.”  (Insert record screech sound here)  Huh?  We were going to attend City Year‘s Annual Red Jacket Ball.  I had never heard of this event before so I had to do my research and figure out what this event was and what kind of attire I was supposed to wear.  For those of you as unfamiliar with City Year as I was, it is education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with high need public schools that places 17 to 24 year young old AmeriCorps members in the school to aide in tutoring and mentoring young children.  It is a pretty awesome organization!

Now I have to admit something here.  While I try to come across as “in style”, style is something I’ve always had to work at.  I have never been the type to walk into the store and just “know” what is in fashion, or trendy.  I tend to gravitate toward the plain solid t-shirts and want to get one of each color.  Jeans and shorts, a few sweatpants for around the house…I’m good.  If it weren’t for the style sense of my dear Best Friend, Chrissy, I’d be screwed.  She was the one who made me realize, back in high school, that a cute outfit could really make the day.  She has ever so gently talked me into trying new styles or outfits countless times over the years.  (Don’t even get me started on the time she convinced me it was okay to cut my super, duper LONG hair!)  Once, in high school, she talked me into buying a $60 lace blouse!!!!!!  This was a big deal and I think she coerced me for 30 minutes in the dressing room.  “You have to buy it!” she says  “But it is SIXTY dollars!!!”  I ended up buying the damn thing and ended up loving it and wearing it for years!

So, back to this ball….

Because of my lack of style confidence, I felt a bit daunted at the task to go and buy a dress for this event.  Did they mean this was a literal “ball” with big ball gowns or are we talking cocktail attire?  I did NOT want to show up in some red carpet styled outfit (like I could afford it or even pull it off) and have everyone else wearing cocktail dresses!  Embarrassing! I googled the event hoping to find pictures.  I asked neighbors what they knew of it.  FINALLY I read in very small print on the invitation the words “cocktail attire”.  Thank you!  Relief.  Now I could shop.

So I found myself in the department stores browsing the endless racks trying to decide what to wear.  I’m an indecisive person so trying to decide on a dress for an event ALONE is not a good situation for me to be in.  So I did what any gal in this century would do.  I started taking pictures of myself in the dressing room, wearing each dress, and messaging them to Chrissy.  Thank goodness she has access to her phone at work otherwise I would have been screwed for her opinion. I can only imagine what the people in the next dressing room were thinking I was doing as my phone kept making that shutter sound it makes when you take a picture.  Ha ha ha!

So, I began sending her two pictures of me in two different dresses.  We exchanged some words, “So cute” “That’s…nice.”  lol  At one point I realized she hadn’t gotten the picture of the dress I was really liking.  Huh.  Weird.  So I re-sent it to her.  She loved it and that was the one I ended up getting.  I made my purchase and marched out of that store so dang satisfied!!

About an hour later I got a text.  It was from one of my cousins out of town.  Wow.  We don’t talk often so I was really surprised  to get a text from him.  This is what it read:  “I think you sent your pic to the wrong “Chris”, but yes it is dressy.”  Pause.  Pause.  Realization.  Oh. My. Word.  I had sent a picture of myself in the dressing room, changing into dresses, to my cousin Chris (who is a guy)!!!!!!! 
And yes, I am going to go all out here and even show you the photo I sent my cousin!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!  That’s all I could do in a situation like that!!  Ha ha ha!!  All I can say is thank goodness I was dressed in the picture and not in a bra with a skirt or something.  And the other positive is that he liked the dress!  Ha ha!!!  Oh I was so embarrassed.  But oh so glad it was a family member I sent it to and not some work contact!  Sooooo many things could have gone wrong with this situation.  But they didn’t.  Thank goodness!

So, the lessons I have  learned from this experience:

1.  Pay attention to what name I am selecting on my android phone when I send a picture

2.  Try to avoid dressing room photos

3.  Keep my sense of humor

So that’s my funny little story to share with you.  For the record, we had a fabulous night out at the event and I felt like a million bucks.  I had a super handsome man by my side to boot so the night was wonderful.  Here’s a GOOD picture of me in the dress with Scott at the actual event and I think we look pretty cute! 🙂

~ Alicia

A Few of Our Favorite Things – Week of March 25th

Our lives are often times very hectic and chaotic. We don’t always stop and appreciate the small things happening all around us. In this day and age, it is important to make a conscious effort to recognize the small things or moments that fill us with joy and wonder or make us insanely happy.  Below are a few of our favorite things or special moments we’ve experienced from this past week.  We’d love to hear about yours as well!

Chrissy’s Favorites:

1.  Fun Moments with my Husband and Movies.  My husband and I watched the remake of Footloose this past week.   While the movie was pretty cute it is not something I will probably ever watch again. So, why is this one of my favorite moments of this week? Well, this is largely because my husband and I had a blast trying to spot all the many, many similarities it had to the original movie.  Trust me, there are tons of references to the original from the opening credits to the very end.   As the final credits started rolling, I couldn’t help but feel extremely nostalgic for the original, Kevin Bacon version which I plan on watching this coming weekend to get my fix. Am I the only one who can’t listen to Kenny Loggin’s song Footloose without tapping my toes along with it? Watch the video, and try not to move your feet.  I dare to you!   “Everybody Cut Loose!”

2.  Shopping and Great New Finds.  Shopping at Target at least once a week is a pretty normal occurrence in my household.  It is my absolute, hands down favorite store.  If I could only pick one store to shop at for the rest of my life, it would be Target.  This week, I was thrilled to happen upon a totally cute and super sweet little necklace in the accessory section.  For many of my fellow Pinterest addicts, it will look familiar as I’ve seen a very similar necklace pop up quite often.  The necklace from Target is only $4.99 and comes with a cute pair of flower earrings as well.

3.  Spring time and New Life Blooming all around me.  Spring is definitely in the air here in Nebraska.  It seems like everyday I notice a different tree has decided to bloom in my neighborhood, but my favorite blossoming tree this year is in my very own backyard.  I have no idea what kind of tree it is, but it is truly lovely! 

Alicia’s Favorites:

1.  Home – After being away from home for vacation, there’s nothing like walking back into your own abode, dropping the suitcases to the floor and falling onto your bed.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to travel!  However, home is the one place you can completely be yourself.  You don’t have to get fully dressed before having breakfast like you do at the hotels.  Nothing says “home” better than cooking bacon and eggs in the kitchen while in your pj’s with your hair messed up!  Ha ha!

2.  Magic & Humor – This week, at my son’s Cub Scout Pack Meeting, they had a special guest.  They had a Magician who was also going to teach the boys (and girls) all about Safety with Electricity.  I will be honest and say that I was a little worried this was going to be really boring.  I mean, who can make electricity safety fun?  Boy was I proved wrong!  This magician was not only great at what he does with magic, but he was HILARIOUS!  He did a fabulous job of engaging not only all the children (and we are talking about A LOT of children at a Pack Meeting), but he kept the adults laughing their pants off with all of his puns and adult innuendos.  It was such an entertaining event.   To top the night off, he needed an assistant and he picked my daughter!  When he came walking out to her in the audience and said he wanted her to help him, I thought for sure she was going to refuse.  While she is quite the card around our family and friends, she is rather reserved in public settings and doesn’t like to be on display.  Quite to my surprise, she jumped right up and went with him!  Apparently this is something she has always wanted to do!  I was so thankful I had brought my video recorder so I could capture that moment forever.  She was the CUTEST Magician’s Assistant ever!  He had her tear up a bunch of tissue paper, put it in a bag, wave the wand and the torn paper turned into a cute yellow & black bonnet with a bow on it!  He put it on her head and sent her away.  She loves this bonnet and it was such a great experience for her!

3.  Parental Pride – This week was report card week along with Parent Teacher Conferences.  My husband and I are extremely proud of the children as they are doing so well in school!  My son got straight A’s and my Peanut has met and exceeded all of her Kindergarten goals!  They received several awards at the Honors Assembly for their achievements in reading and citizenship as well.  It’s a great moment to see them be recognized for all of their hard work and perseverance!

We hope you enjoyed our weekly reflections on our favorite things!  What were your favorite things this week?

~ Chrissy & Alicia

A Few of Our Favorite Things This Week

Our lives are often times very hectic and chaotic.  We don’t always stop and appreciate the small things happening all around us.  In this day and age, it is important to make a conscious effort to recognize the small things or moments that fill us with joy and wonder or make us insanely happy.  Our plan is to start sharing our fun finds or special moments with you once a week from here on out.  We’d love to hear about yours as well!

Chrissy’s Favorite Things:

1. My Friends.  I received an email from one of our best girlfriends wanting to plan a Girl’s Night In soon. I love getting together with girlfriends. It is the absolute best, most relaxing and therapeutic feeling ever! (The only bummer is Alicia and our other out of town friends don’t live close enough to come as well.)

2. My Mail Delivery.  Yesterday, when I opened my mailbox I was delighted to find the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer had arrived. My friend, Shannon, calls this newsletter Food Porn and I couldn’t agree more. 😉  I can’t read it without getting totally hungry!

3.  A New Dessert.  I decided to try a recipe for Black Bean Brownies which I found on Pinterest. (If you are interested in the recipe you can check it out here.)  I was initially thrown off because they didn’t have a lick of flour in them and, of course, beans in brownies doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Be that as it may I was intrigued enough to give it a try. Boy, was I delighted and shockingly surprised when they turned out to be really quite good.

4.  A New Movie.  I happend to see a new 5 minute trailer for the movie Snow White and the Huntsman.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to see this movie.  I’ve always enjoyed the Snow White story and love that this movie tells it in such a dark, dramatic way.  Charlize Theron plays the Evil Queen and although I never would have pictured Kristen Stewart as Snow White, she seems to pull it off well. 

Alicia’s Favorite Things:

Well I am on vacation this week!  We have visited New Orleans, Louisiana & Destin, Florida!  It has been a much needed family vacation and we are having a blast! The only bummer is that it has to end.  Be that as it may, I still have several favorite things that I used this week while on my vacation!

1.  My family.  I have to put them first this week since I am on vacation with them!  We don’t get long, quiet breaks (just the 4 of us) all that often.  So having this family time is just unbelievable!  I love my husband and children so much and I’m enjoying this time to reconnect and relax with them.  🙂

2.  My Kindle.  My brother gave me my Kindle a few years ago as a Christmas present and it is probably one of the best presents he has ever given me!  My Kindle is totally rock awesome.  I love that when I finish a book, I can “shop” on my Kindle while driving through the back highways of Louisiana and get a new book, instantly!  Scott and I also love playing the New York Times Crossword Puzzle on it.  It was interesting to figure out how to play this game while he drove the van, but we managed.   It helps pass those long hours of driving to your vacation spot!

3.  My Kindle Book for the trip:  “Nearly Departed in Deadwood” by Ann Charles.  This book has me hooked, line & sinker!  It reminds me of the Stephanie Plum series that I read a while back and I just love the mystery, comedy & a little bit of romance all mixed together!  I also have to admit that Chrissy has turned me into a “series” junky and I love that this is the 1st book in the series, so I know I’ll have more to read.  I hate saying goodbye to those characters that you grow to love in books, so a series is great!  I highly recommend it!

4.  My go-to jewelery piece for this vacation has been my Metal Works necklace that I bought last summer from Premier Designs.  I love, love, love this piece as it can be casual with a T-Shirt or go with a nice blouse and work for a great dinner out.  It is 38″ long, but I tend to double it up quite a bit and wear it layered, which looks fabulous.  Or go longer and it is super fancy! 🙂  (The catalog insert here shows the necklace as item F)

5.  Another favorite item of mine this week is my beach bag filled with all of the necessities for lounging on the white sands in Florida.  I have all of the beach towels for the family, sunblock, my Kindle, our camera, a bag for sea shell collecting and of course some water!  A good, big beach bag is a must have when on a vacation like this!

So there you have it!  A few of our favorite things!  We hope you liked them and maybe even discovered something new in the process!  Have a fabulous day!

~Chrissy & Alicia