Monday, December 29, 2014

Maya Mondays - Love Life.

"Love life... Engage in it. Give it all you've got.  Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it." - Maya Angelou

Monday, December 22, 2014

Maya Mondays - Cherish.

"We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable.  It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives." - Maya Angelou


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Frugal Friday: The Ornament

Every year we get an ornament from one of those kiosks in the mall (where prices start at $15).  You may recall that I shared the history a few years back.  Well...

Today's edition of Frugal Friday is all about the family ornament!  We saved big time by thinking outside of the over-priced convenience box.

This year, we went to the mall in search of the perfect ornament to symbolize our year.  We wanted something that fit us (you know at least with three of something) and we were so excited to tackle this task before the Christmas rush.  Almost immediately, as a family, we decided all of the ornaments were hideous.  We walked around in search of another option but no luck.  Then, I remembered Michael's sells the same (or better) ornaments for ONLY $2.  We left the madhouse mall and drove to Michael's.  They had a better selection of ornaments and Christmas items were 50% off!!  After the Sharpie, we spent a total of $2.50 and our 12 year family tradition continues!  Check out our 2014 ornament:

I am especially proud of our names on the stockings!  O and, as a point of reference, here's one of our $20 ornaments from a few years back:

Not too bad, right?  Right!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Affordable Gifts for the Guys In Your Life

Well, I've been making mental notes of things to buy for Hubbs and guess what, Islanders.

This dude told me he doesn't want me to buy anything.  He is planning to get sneakers this weekend and doesn't want me to buy him a doggone thing.  After I've planned to get him the wallet he's complained he's needed, the massage-thingee he said he wanted, the shaving kit from Ulta and more... I hate when he does this!

I'm not crazy for feeling some type of way about that, right?  I mean... he always does this... every holiday.  He gets what he wants and I appreciate whatever I get.  I shouldn't be surprised but I am.  I shouldn't be annoyed but I am.

I guess we'll make the most of the gifts in our stockings huh?

If you still have the opportunity to shop for the guy(s) in your life, check out these goodies; they're sure to make your special guys smile.


I've bought some top-notch colognes for Hubbs (I thought he'd cry when I splurged on Creed one birthday, it was as if I'd read his mind, lol).  I also, however, love a great smelling affodable scent.  In the case of Dunhill for Men, I haven't found one review that doesn't give this scent praise.  I've decided to get a small bottle for the man's stocking and I think it might become an annual gift for him - a new cologne to try.

Solar Charger

In my post for the girls, I shared the camera lenses that could change the cell phone camera's life for good.  If you're shoppng for the outdoors man, check out this solar-powered cell phone charger that costs less than $30 on Amazon!

It's so COOL and perfect for guys like my brother who fish on a boat or work on foot patrol or outdoors!

Man Cave Accessories

Every man wants to have his own space.  My guy THINKS the basement is his but, in actuality, he has an area where he plays video games.There's always something you can get for your guy to feel like he has an area dedicated to him.  I've rounded up a few man "area" accessories I'm sure the guys would love:

Mini Refrigerator

They have the basic mini fridges that start at $30+ and then there are the cool mini vending machines like this one:

Wall-Mounted Beer Opener

Hubbs doesn't drink beer often but he does have a sip when his friends are over to enjoy a game... I think he'd like a wall-mounted bottle opener.  In a man cave, it would be cool, right?

I also like how the one above catches the bottle tops so there's no pile of tops on the floor (...or would that only be my guy who would leave the tops to pile up on the floor?).

Personalized Drinkware

I don't know about you but guys always seem to have their favorite water glass or coffee mug or whiskey glass.  I grew up in a house where my dad had a designated water cup.  We all knew not to touch the cup and I remember, after we made friends during our visit to Costa Rica, how excited Hubbs was when our new friends gave him a personalized mug.  Something about monogrammed everyday items just make people happy.

Check etsy or Amazon for great deals on personalized drinkware and more!

Cigar Subscription

Sign-up for a monthly sampling of cigars for only $19.95!  I would give this gift with a cigar cutter or other cigar accessory and a note that explains the subscription.

Roku 3

Cable?  Ain't nobody got time fo' dat, lol.  The Roku3 device is the leading streaming device that, for many, has replaced their primary cable provider.  At only $85, this is perfect for the movie buff or TV junkie.  O and it beats out its Amazon, Google and Apple competitors.

For the stocking, I like to get Hubbs some smell good, some funky socks (Nike compression socks and dress socks) and some of his favorite candy,

Happy gifting!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WW: Elf on the Shelf Returns!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Affordable Gifts You Actually Want!

Hey, folks!

I don't know about you but I like to give good gifts.  I like to think about what someone really needs/wants.  The gift giving process over this Christmas season used to be difficult for me.  I always felt pressured to purchase things for people who matter to me... that list is longer than my purse strings.  Then, there was this pressure to buy a gift for the reaction of my recipients... or to buy gifts for everyone who buys for you.  Well, I'm here to tell you a few years ago, I let all that nonsense go.

We all know it's not about gifts.  Well, to take it one step further, I've adopted the mantra that I'm not in the business of making grown-ups' Christmas dreams come true.

If I want to, I'll buy a gift for anyone else.  If I buy you a gift, I'm buying it because I truly believe it's something that will be used (or consumed).  I've made a conscious effort to STOP the hurry-up-and-buy mentality of the season.  I have a short list of people who will receive gifts.  We've talked about it before and you are aware that I prefer to give in the off season.  My family has decided to make some changes to our holiday regimen this year.  We're not buying unnecessarily.  Like, for real.  I have some sista-friends who will DEF get a gift...  If you're looking for awesome affordable gifts, here's a list of GREAT gifts that are affordable and useful!

Cell Phone Camera Lenses

The above images were taken with cell phones.  Yep, CELL PHONES.  Photojojo's iPhone and Android lens series attaches to your phone to capture beautiful images without toting a fancy-pants camera.

Each lens costs between $20-30!  Photojojo also offers bundle packs and other accessories to maximize the camera you always have with you.

Jewelry Candles

I've been intrigued by these candles... I've done my research and found a number of retailers online.  The one with the best prices that also offered deals was Diamond Candles.

Can we also give them the award for the BEST name too?  I love it!  I placed an order for some and they arrived perfectly packed and ready to give give.  These are perfect for the candle freaks in your life.  If you click this link, you'll save $10!  Once you place your order, you'll get a link of your own to share in exchange for future discounts, candles.  Candles cost between $25 - $35 dollars and each comes with a ring (valued at $25) AND a code to visit their website and see if you ALSO receive one of their more expensive pieces (valued between $100 - 7500).  Think of the days when the prizes found in boxes of cereal made eating it more fun!  This is *totally* a grown-up version!  I can only imagine the anticipation!  Their summer scents are on sale for $19.95 so, after the discount, you could REALLY get a good deal!  I've purchased a few for my candle-lovin' ladies and I can't wait to see what they get :)


Awhile ago, Sheena gave me a beautiful bedside journal.

When she gave it to me, I knew from its cover that she chose it especially for me.  It's got the beautiful colors of one of my favorite animals, the peacock, AND it fits perfectly with our master bedroom decor.  It looks awesome and it's perfect for nightly ramblings, to-do lists and more.  If you have a note-taker or list-writer in your life, imagine their excitement to receive a personal journal and/or one of these fabulous pens:

Those beauties are Kate Spade ballpoint pens.  Yep, big names offer desk accessories on the low ($35 a piece).  Who doesn't need a nice pen to tote around with them?  I guarantee a nice pen like this is less likely to wind up lost or handed over to the pizza delivery man.  The recipient will keep tabs on it, for sure.

The key to thoughtful gifts is to accompany them with cards to explain them.  Remember, thoughtful means that they are about sentiment and not about dollars and cents!

I know what you're thinking and these are definitely geared toward the girls! I've also pulled some gifts for the fellas so stay tuned!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Maya Mondays - Home.

"Home is a refuge not only from the world, but a refuge from my worries, my troubles, my concerns.  I like beautiful things around me.  I like it to be beautiful because it delights my eyes and my soul is lifted up." - Maya Angelou


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WW: ICE Exhibit 2014


Goodwill Finds: The Magnolia Wreath

Happy Friday, Islanders. I wanted to share a thrifty find from a while back.  Ugh, I love my local Goodwill Outlet.  Oh, and yes, you saw ...

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