Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cardigan Sweaters For Fall

I am a card-carrying member of the cardigan fan club. I love cardigan sweaters! They are versatile and can be found in so many pretty colors, patterns, and styles. And, they can really pull together the simplest of outfits. I especially love wearing them when fall comes around - they are a staple for any fall fashion wardrobe. Yes, I know we are still in the dog-days of summer, but I'm already starting to think ahead to cooler autumn temps and shopping for some new clothes.

Here are a few that I really like:

Chadwick's Boyfriend Cardigan (19.99-34.99) - I have this one in a bright mustard-gold color and get compliments every time I wear it. I'm planning on getting it in another color, too. It's fairly lightweight, very comfortable, and I like the coverage of the longer length.

LOFT Wavy Zebra Print Cardigan (54.50) - I love the 3/4 sleeves and the rich purplish-blue color is a fun twist on the zebra pattern.

Lands' End Stripe Merino V-Neck Cardigan (95.00) - This is a bit pricey, but made of luxurious Italian-spun merino, it's bound to be super soft and comfy. The classic stripes give it a "varsity" feel.

Mossimo Black Layering Cardigan (22.99) - This is a great basic black item for your wardrobe. I especially love the 3/4 length sleeves and the buttons on the cuffs. Think of all the different ways you could wear this one!

What about you? Do you like to wear cardigan sweaters? What other items are you looking forward to wearing this fall?


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Our 21st Wedding Anniversary

Hubby and I just had our 21st wedding anniversary. We started dating in high school, so we've actually been together for 25.5 years. Happy Anniversary to us!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Get FREE Queso at On The Border

Feel like having Mexican for dinner? Then, why not visit On The Border and check out their authentic Classic Combos starting at $7.49. And, before you go, be sure and print this coupon for a free bowl of Original On The Border queso.

*Coupon is not valid in California, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, or Iowa

*This post contains an affiliate link

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Separation City

Marriage and two children have brought Simon and Pam to a rather stale and boring place in their relationship. This makes it easy for Simon to start fantasizing about their beautiful friend Katrien, who has recently discovered her own husband's infidelity. As Simon struggles with his feelings, it looks as though Katrien may be attracted to him as well. While it's mostly a romantic comedy and did make me laugh, it also left me feeling a bit sad at times. It's set in New Zealand.

It has a PG-13 rating but I think it should be R. There are numerous sexual scenes, conversations, and subject matter throughout.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Colorforms Revolution HD - IPhone/IPad App Review + Free Code For One Reader

When I was a little girl, I always remember my mom letting me go to the drugstore and pick out a toy after I had to go to the doctor. And, without a doubt, the toy I most often chose was a Colorforms playset. Do you remember those?...the fun, themed storyboards that came with the little repositionable vinyl stickers. I loved those and had quite a collection. But, I haven't seen them around for a long time.

The Toy Industry Association recognized Colorforms as one of the Top 100 Toys of the Century. And, Time Magazine named it among its "All-Time 100 Greatest Toys."

Now, in keeping up with the digital age that we live in, you can experience Colorforms in a whole new way - as a cool, colorful, interactive app for your IPhone or IPad. Check out this video showing all the neat things you can do with the Colorforms Revolution HD app:

I was able to try out the Colorforms Revolution app on our IPad and I have to tell you, it was really fun. I like that there are several different modes of play -- the puzzle mode was my favorite and a nice brain-teaser. The create mode gives you endless possibilites and you can even save and share your creations on Facebook. I think the play set mode would be a big hit with the younger kids; it includes themes such as jungle, underwater, dinosaurs, city/transportation, and more. It's a fun app for all ages!

Would you like to try Colorforms Revolution HD for free? 

-Code has been spoken for-
This app is normally $2.99. I have a gift code to share with one of my readers but it HAS TO BE USED TODAY! If you are interested, let me know in the comments. Since the code is about to expire, I'll give it to the first person who responds.

I received this app for free to help facilitate my review. I was not obligated to write a positive review and all opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Aloha Friday - Paying Bills

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer - nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

When it comes to paying bills, do you pay the traditional way - writing checks and sending through snail mail? Or, do you take advantage of technology and pay online or by phone?

I do a little of both. I don't have anything automatically paid out of my bank account. I still like to be the one who chooses the exact when/where/how of paying my bills. But, I do utilize the convenience of paying online or by phone for several things.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Because I Said So

I always love Diane Keaton and this movie is no exception. It's a sweet comedy about a somewhat neurotic mom who is determined to find a mate for her youngest daughter. While she's sneaking around and trying to fix up her daughter, she might just actually find love for herself, too. Very funny with laugh-out-loud moments. And, if you're a mom, you will probably shed a tear or two.

Rated PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue, some mature thematic material and partial nudity.


What The Heck Are Brogues and Why Should I Want Some?

I admit I may not be the most fashion-savvy gal around. But, I do like to think that I'm somewhat up on popular and current trends. After all, one of my greatest past times is pouring over the latest fashion magazines and watching reruns of Project Runway. And, don't even get me started about how much I love gazing at all the gorgeous outfit ensembles on Polyvore and Pinterest. That's got to give me at least a teensy bit of street cred, right?

So, I was a little befuddled the other day when I saw the term "brogues" on one of those above-mentioned glossy fashion mag covers. "What are brogues?" I asked myself, and "do I need some?"

After turning to my handy-dandy friend, the internet, I found the answer from Wikipedia:

The Brogue is a style of low-heeled shoe or boot traditionally characterized by multiple-piece, sturdy leather uppers with decorative perforations (or "brogueing") and serration along the pieces' visible edges. Modern brogues trace their roots to a rudimentary shoe originating in Scotland and Ireland that was constructed using untanned hide with perforations that allowed water to drain from the shoes when the wearer crossed wet terrain such as a bog. Brogues were traditionally considered to be outdoor or country footwear not otherwise appropriate for casual or business occasions, but brogues are now considered appropriate in most contexts. Brogues are most commonly found in one of four toe cap styles (full or "wingtip", semi-, quarter and longwing) and four closure styles (oxford, derby, ghillie, and monk). Today, in addition to their typical form of sturdy leather shoes or boots, brogues may also take the form of business dress shoes, sneakers, high-heeled women's shoes, or any other shoe form that utilizes or evokes the multi-piece construction and perforated, serrated piece edges characteristic of brogues.

Men's Brogue

Oh, that's what they are! I have normally referred to this type of shoe as simply an "oxford" or "saddle shoe". Anyhow, the point of the story is that the brogue is supposed to be a hot fashion item this fall. I decided to do some online window shopping and see what I could find in the way of brogues for women. Here are a few that I like (although some are definitely over my budget). Let me know what you think...

Joan & David Theora in Dark Brown 89.99 at 6pm.com

Sesto Meucci Agata 126.99 at 6pm.com

Dr. Martens Sita 3-Tie Brogue in Ceramic Blue 107.99 at Zappos.com

Miista Kane Heel Brogue 69.95 at FreePeople.com

Arletta by Born 89.99 at Piperlime

Burberry Leather Brogue Ballerina in Tangerine 181.99 at Zappos Couture

While I was searching, I realized that there are, indeed, many different styles of brogues. Flat heels, wedge heels, boots, neutrals, bright colors, and patterns...I think they're all pretty hot! But, can I pull off wearing them? And, what do I wear them with? Here's a great article I found that describes the best ways to wear brogues.

And, on a side note...here's a photo that was in my phone. I took it of my daughter last year. Look what she's wearing;o) Pretty cute, don't ya think?


Monday, July 16, 2012

An Educational Milestone For Our Family

I guess you could say that our family has reached somewhat of an educational milestone...for the first time in 14 years, we will not have a child in attendance at our local elementary school.

We have four kids who are now ages 11, 14, 16, and 19. We have always lived in the same school district, with our kids attending the same elementary, middle, and high schools. For the last 14 years, we have had one (or more) children attending our local elementary school. That's 14 years in a row that we've been at that same elementary school!

Now, our youngest will be moving onto middle school this fall. It's a strange feeling. I feel like I knew that place like the back of my hand. We had the pleasure of getting to know so many of the teachers and staff and feel lucky to be part of such a wonderful school community. But, it's also nice to be moving on. Not only is our youngest moving to middle school, but our second youngest will be starting high school. I think it's going to be an exciting year!

For those of you who have school age kids, what grades will they be entering this fall? Are any of your kids making a big transition this year?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Insidious

I love a good scary movie - not the gory, slasher-types - I'm talking about the haunting, tense, jump-out-of-your-seat type movies. Insidious is a good example. It's about a young family that has recently moved into a new home. After their oldest son has an accident in the house, mysterious and creepy things start happening. It gets so bad that the family decides to move. But, soon enough, they find that the evil elements have followed them. Very suspenseful and, yes, I did jump and gasp out loud several times. Oh, and it's got a great, twisted ending...gotta love that!

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, violence, terror and frightening images, and brief strong language


Simply Sassy Media Launch Giveaway

Simply Sassy Media is a new group dedicated to helping bloggers grow while also connecting bloggers and brands. Founded by Stacie Vaughan and Yolanda Machado, two rock stars of the blogosphere, this group is sure to become a big hit. I've taken part in some of their Facebook activities and I can tell you first hand that it's a fun and supportive community.

To celebrate their launch, Simply Sassy Media is having a big giveaway. Check out the details below...

Prizes: $100 Lowes Gift Card (for a US winner), $100 IKEA Gift Card (for a Canadian winner)

Eligibility: US & Canada

Giveaway Ends: July 24 at 11:59 pm EST

Giveaway is sponsored by Simply Sassy Media

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Good Thing About My Dishwasher Breaking Down

I've talked before about our terrible luck with household appliances and my great disdain for GE brand appliances, in particular. We've had trouble off and on with our GE Profile dishwasher. Right now, it's totally out of commission. We are weighing our options - do we try to put a band-aid fix on it for now or spend the money to buy a new one. Anyway, since the dishwasher has been on the fritz, the chore of doing our nightly dinner dishes has been bestowed upon our 16 year old daughter, Shelby. This honor was not one that she was happy to receive. We've always had a dishwasher so my kids have never really had to hand-wash dishes very often.

After a couple days, Shelby quit complaining and accepted her duty. She's found her groove and now the task doesn't really take all that much time. I decided to join her and help out. Sometimes she washes and I dry, and sometimes vice versa; we trade off. We eat dinner at home as a family at least five nights per week. So, on those nights, for a good twenty minutes, my daughter and I stand side-by-side at the kitchen sink, washing, drying, and putting away dishes. And you know what? That's twenty minutes of her undivided attention that I get. We talk, laugh, gossip, and actually have a good time.

And, that is the only good thing about my dishwasher breaking down!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Jewelry Finds on Etsy - $35 and Under

I love jewelry! In summertime, the right piece can really dress up a pair of shorts or add some pizazz to a tee shirt. One of the places that I can always find great pieces is Etsy. There's truly something for everyone -- such a huge variety of styles and in every price range. By shopping for jewelry on Etsy, I can find unique, often one-of-a-kind items, while also supporting a hand-crafting artisan. I think that's a win-win for everyone! Here are a few great summer jewelry finds that I came across while window-shopping on Etsy...all $35 or less!

These cute and colorful earrings are $34 and can be found at Kluster.

This flower necklace makes a fun and bright statement - great colors! It's $35 and from Etsy seller RachelleD.

These Boho Turquoise Chandelier Earrings are so pretty and only $18 - what a steal! You can find them at Fleurdesignz.

I love the colors of these chunky stones paired with the oxidized silver chain links...very sexy!  Date Night Necklace from Andromedii is listed at $35.

This coral-colored necklace looks stunning on the bronze-finish chain. It has a bit of a tribal feel to it which has been a popular theme in fashion and accessories for awhile. The price is $25 and it is for sale at Etsy shop RawEarth Studio. Plus, if you join her Facebook page, you can use code 15VIP for 15% off (must join Facebook Page). 

This Narcissus Flower Bracelet is simple and summery. For sale at LaLa Crystal for only $18.50. There is also a matching necklace available in a separate listing. And, just for Alas 3 Lads readers, use code VIP05 for 5% off.

These Petal Earrings are hot! I love the little delicate petals and the mixed metals. Another great buy at only $18 from Leaves, Seeds, and Stones.

Have you ever shopped for jewelry on Etsy? If not, check it out. I'm sure you will find something you like.

This is not a compensated post, just me sharing some fun summer jewelry finds. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. All photos were used with permission of the above-mentioned Etsy sellers.


Happy Sweet 16 To My Girl!

My daughter, Shelby, celebrated her 16th birthday this week! I know it's cliche but it's so true...where does the time go? They just grow up so fast. Of course this mama thinks her girl is the greatest - she's smart, funny, creative, unique, and beautiful - just to name a few of her awesome qualities. In honor of her milestone birthday, here are 16 random facts about Shelby:

1) She loves music and is always finding new and obscure songs/artists to enjoy

2) She's about to start her Junior year of high school this fall

3) Her GPA is 4.0

4) Like her mom, she loves big dogs

5) She is in love with Ryan Ross (musician)

6) Her favorite pickles are 'bread and butter' pickles

7) Her BFF is named Catie

8) She also has a thing for Norman Reedus (he plays Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead)

9) She loves horror movies

10) She thinks greeting cards are "lame & sappy" and wants to design her own line of hip greeting cards

11) Lately, she has been suffering from insomnia

12) Going to the mall is one of her favorite activities

13) This summer, she is volunteering at one of our local museums

14) She really wants to travel to Europe

15) We her dad will be teaching her to drive this summer

16) She recently got about 6 inches of her hair cut off (this picture was before the haircut)

Happy Birthday, Shelby!